The Cross: What do we bring to the Cross this Holy Week 2024?

Mar 29, 2024
The cross symbolising the sacrifice and suffering of Jesus Christ, the crown of thorns and the sunset background

The Cross speaks to us of how we find God in places where compassion is needed.

Those places in our own hearts and circumstances where we feel most lost; those places of our deepest grief and regret.

The Cross speaks to us of the presence of God, full of compassion and One from whom nothing can separate us, ever.

Hence, in the deep days of Holy Week, we are invited to ask, liturgically and personally, what it is we bring to the Cross for God’s grace and peace…for understanding, forgiveness and reconciliation; for a new beginning.

I bring quietly the people in our community for whom I have cared, amidst their recent difficulties.

And specifically, I bring all that is evoked this Holy Week 2024 when we ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem’.

Nearly 180 days on, sharing this ever so briefly, I pray for the parents in Jerusalem who’s youngster was at that October 7 Music Festival and was taken hostage, his arm blown off by a grenade.

I pray with them, as a parent and grandparent myself, as they wait and wait for news as to whether their beloved child is alive or dead.

Likewise, I pray for the dad in Gaza who’s little boy asked for something sweet as they sheltered at home. He took the risk and went out in search of something sweet, came back to find a bomb had destroyed his home, killed all his family. There he was, holding the bag of sweets, weeping ..weeping and weeping.

I pray for the many whose stories are similarly so poignant and who feel so fearful about the future.

I pray for the children, robbed of childhood’s enchantment, even of life.

I pray for those, now so tired, who try to find a way to end this terrible suffering through diplomatic negotiations, immense partisan pressure coming at them.

I pray for the vivid ones of our Government and of the United Nations.

Likewise, I pray for those about whom I learn more…Anthony Blinken, US Secretary of State, whose grandpa fled from Russian pogroms and whose stepfather survived Auschwitz and Dachau. Ageing before our eyes, as his shuttle diplomacy continues.

I pray for my Jewish and Muslim friends here. We have shared many good and positive times together.

Trying to embody the friendship of God for all, I pray for them, accepting from them that little is currently possible together, sadly…Hoping they are not disappointed in me; wishing they did not feel so alone.

I pray too for those in the Holy Land who we know are praying and working ‘for the peace of Jerusalem.’

This and more I bring to the Cross in these poignant days.

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