The cross has always and will always be central to Christian faith. ‘Legend has it that St. Helena, the mother of Constantine, the Roman Emperor who embraced Christianity as the religion of the Empire, travelled to the Holy Land and brought back to Rome some relics of the wood of the cross of Christ. The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, celebrated on September 14th, celebrates two historical events: the discovery of the True Cross by Saint Helena, in 320 under the temple of Venus in Jerusalem, and the dedication in 335 of the basilica and shrine
built on Calvary by Constantine, which mark the site of the Crucifixion. The basilica, named the Martyrium, and the shrine, named the Calvarium, were destroyed by the Persians in 614. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre which now stands on the site was built by the Crusaders in 1149. The feast however, more than anything else, is
a celebration and commemoration of God's greatest work: his salvific death on the Cross and His Resurrection, through which death was defeated and the doors to Heaven opened for believers.
A humble homilist once said that ‘the meeting point between God and the world is the cross of Christ. The cross is what lifts the world up to heaven and lowers heaven down to earth. It is literally a cross-road, a path full of challenges, difficulties, hardships, struggles, yet all of which, make us better men and women, and bring us closer to God’. A wonderful analogy! Life begins and ends with the cross. God chose the cross as the road to Him in Heaven. No matter what road, every adult knows that the path on earth is never easy. One may be tempted to think that others have lives that are trouble-free but no one is without hardship at one time or another in their life. Yes, there are different hardships, financial, family, addiction, health, and loneliness to name a few. How we deal with hardships though, is a true test of our faith and trust in God. Hardship is indeed change – and change is often difficult to transition. It is prudent to remember then, that although our lives change in many ways, as days or years pass, it is in faithfully bearing our cross and following Jesus to the very end, that we are closer to God and eternal life. This is our hope for the future- with the tools he has given us to forge on, such as prayer, penance, regularly receiving the holy sacraments and works of charity such as our Equestrian Order commitment, remembering always that although change happens in our life, the one that doesn’t change is God “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrew 13:8
Even a new website, new passwords and links are changes. Let us not forget that God has given us the tools to weather even a technological storm --- it just takes some time to adjust. The Fall season for instance even equates to change – September brings us cooler weather, change from the summer but still change. -Gone are the flip-flops, the glow on one’s cheeks and the ability to run out the door in summer attire. We must think ahead, check the forecast, maybe grab the rain boots and be prepared for the day. One must think that God gave us the cross as a sign of hope, to encourage us to weather the proverbial storms of our lives no matter what type of tempest they may be.