“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Galatians 6:14a
In some old calendars, today is the Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross. “But,” you might be saying to yourself, “isn’t Holy Cross Day in September? Why talk about a feast that isn’t on the calendar anymore?” What great questions!
The Finding of the Cross commemorates the day that Empress Helena discovered relics of the True Cross while excavating Golgotha for a site on which to build a church (the dedication of which forms the basis of the celebration of Holy Cross Day in September). What’s great about today’s feast is that it teaches us something that could be easy to miss: Helena didn’t expect or intend to find the Cross. It was in the midst of other business, the various projects to which she was devoted, that the Cross was discovered. Or perhaps it would be better to say: it was in the midst of Helena’s day-to-day life that the unexpected grace of the Cross surprised and discovered Helena.
I think it’s the same with us. So often, we can go through life blind to the Mystery of Love that is in fact the very foundation of our lives. We’re just not looking for it or expecting it. But the Mystery has a way of grabbing our attention; the astounding Mercy of God has a way of surprising us and drawing us further into relationship with each other and with the Source of Mercy itself. Especially in our troubled age, whenever we see or hear of another human being suffering injustice or bondage or oppression, we experience the Cross seizing our attention, drawing us deeper into the Heart of Love, and calling us to respond with the Love of Jesus Christ who, on the Cross, overcame the world and every system of injustice, bondage and oppression on which the world runs or by which it profits (John 16:33). God forbid we should glory in anything else save the fierce Love of God revealed to us in the Cross!
The Finding of the Holy Cross celebrates what it means to be found, what it means to be surprised by Love and told that Love expects us…and calls us to show up.
Under the Mercy,