Oh the beautiful paradoxes and contradictions in the cross. Strength in weakness. Glory in shame. Victory in Defeat. Life in Death. Gaining through Losing. Peace in violence. Friendship in enmity. Kingship in criminality. Blamelessness in condemnation.
The Gospels surrounding the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (including the following, which is taken from the Sunday after the Feast of the Exaltation) bring this to light. And for those of us who hear these words, we can only be thankful for the way in which this paradox comes to us. Through losing our lives, we find our lives. As we take up the cross, we gain our life, even though it would seem as though we are taking up our own destruction. And in gaining our life, the kingdom of God comes to us in power, at the moment of giving up our lives, at the moment of laying it down.
I am on the path to conversion from a Protestant Reformed church. I love how the church has these feasts and holidays. It reminds us that we’re part of a tradition that endured the ages. Strip them all away and you have a barren Christianity.
I am so happy to hear that the liturgical calendar is opening your eyes to a fullness, which is contrasted with what you termed as “Barren Christianity”. Thankfully, there are other things about the Reformed Protestants that fills their lives, be it a knowledge of Scripture or what have you. But ultimately, the fullness is not there. Those of us like you and I who have left Protestantism sense this. May more Protestants sense this and join the Apostolic Tradition of the Ancient Church!
If I may ask, are you visiting Catholic parishes? Orthodox ones? Something else? Let me know if you’d prefer to discuss this outside of the context of a comment box.
The cross ought to be exulted because it brought salvation to all mankind and today, we are happy in Christ Jesus, for laying down His life for all without exception,so, all Christians are to exult and rejoice whenever we see the CROSS. I personally, wear it everyday because it reminds me of my weaknesses and at the same time gives me courage because in Him I am victorious. thanks for this parcel.
Thanks for your feedback, Veronica. I agree wholeheartedly! Looking forward to celebrating this feast tomorrow (actually, tonight through a Vigil too!)
In Christ, J. Andrew
The Cross is a constant reminder for me that Jesus left His glorious Crown and willingly took up the Cross, no, my cross, so I could receive the crown awaiting me. My old self has been crucified with my Redeemer and now I am a new creation. The Eucharist is a reminder for me dat I am set free. I hv got my freedom. If not 4 da Eucharist, I wud hv continued to think I am a sinner, not worthy of the Most High, the Holy One’s presence. Not worthy to go past the “Outer Court”, thro the “Holy Place” into the “Holy of Holies”. The Eucharist purges me, purifies me to come into the presence of the Most High. The priest celebrating the Eucharist, representative of JC, when lifting the Host, says “Do this in memory of Me” reminding me I am free, free, free, and nothing nothing can separate me from the love of the Most High in JC