Today is Good Friday. Today's service at Church, had a simple yet profound part : veneration of the Cross. The Cross used to be a sign of torture, pain, agony, shame, death, humiliation, failure, a sign to be despised. But the death of Jesus on it, made it venerable!
Today during the service, God gave me an opportunity to stand right next to the Priest who was holding a Cross for the faithful to come forward and kiss the crucified Lord. As I stood there, I saw all sorts of people come, hold the Cross and kiss the feet of Jesus. There were infants, small kids, youngsters, elderly, poor, rich, simple, extravagant, men, women, people belonging to different region, states, race, who speak different language, dialect; religious nuns, lay faithful.... All sorts of people! And that’s when a realization filled me: Christ died for all. As St Paul says, "..we are convinced that One has died for all." (2 Corinthians 5:14) He didn’t die for any particular group of people, He didn’t discriminate or favour anyone, He loved everyone and He died for all and that includes you and me! When Jesus was on the Cross, we were on His mind.
All of us, for whom He died, are different in many ways. But there is one thing that is common in all of us. Sin. We are all sinners. We don’t need anyone to tell us that, we know it! We know the sins we commit: small one, serious ones, public ones, the ones we do in secret, the ones against God, against others, against ourselves. But Jesus didn’t let our sins come in the way of showing His love for us. "God proves His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) While we were still sinners!!! While we kill the soft voice within us asking us not to sin; He prays for us saying, “Father, Forgive them for they do not what they do.” While we continue to enjoy the momentary pleasure of sin; He goes through the painful way of the Cross. While we question, complain, curse, challenge, rebel against God; He stretches His hands and feet to be nailed on the Cross. While we are still sinners, He dies for us!!!
Oh Lord, help us fathom this love of yours for us!
Oh Lord, help us reciprocate at least a fraction of this love!
Oh Lord, help us to keep this love more close to our heart than anything else!