The Beauty of the Cross

This past Good Friday morning saw a unique remembrance of the suffering and death of Christ, a Way of the Cross that encompassed a range of expressions of the Catholic faith: silent meditation, traditional chant and hymns, choral music by Mozart and Palestrina, the poetry of Péguy, Miloscz and Eliot, and reflections on the Gospel from local priests as well as Pope Francis.

To the outside observer, reading beautiful poems and singing beautiful songs would seem to be the least appropriate way to commemorate the public humiliation and execution of an innocent man—an intensely brutal and ugly scene. But that outside observer is missing the crucial fact: Jesus Christ, the God-Man, offered His life on a cross, died, and rose from the dead, and remains with His people.

As stated in the introduction to the Way of the Cross—an event co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of Omaha and local members of the Communion and Liberation movement—our need for a God who answers our deepest longings here and now moves us to pray:

The Way of the Cross happens in the midst of our city where thousands of people carry their crosses daily, often terribly alone. The true cross of every day is that of a person abandoned only to himself in his innermost need for never-ending love, truth, beauty and justice. Each of us needs the presence of God-with-us, Jesus, every day. And Jesus, because of the sacrifice of His cross and because of His resurrection, dwells among us, every day. Today’s Way of the Cross is an invitation to discover His presence among us.

We can celebrate the Cross as something beautiful, as the concrete expression of the Divine Mercy the entire Church celebrates on the first Sunday after Easter, only because of His resurrection and the discovery of His presence among us.

photos by Samantha Stock