10 Lessons from the Cross - Felicia Pledger-Cardoz

posted Mar 22, 2018, 7:05 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 7:06 AM ]

Behold the wood of the Cross on which hung the saviour of the world!

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: To be great is to be misunderstood. Jesus was not only misunderstood, but was also doubted, betrayed and eventually hung on the Cross. In the commemoration of His passion and death, we take away life's valuable lessons. Every Good Friday, we are invited to look at and contemplate the Cross. What we quite often see is an artist's and sculptor's representation of a battered, bruised and lifeless Christ. And it isn't a pretty sight. Young children hesitate, and the faithful from other denominations prefer an empty cross. Yet, Good Friday is perhaps the only day in the year that all Christians observe, by fasting, penance, prayer and charity.

Jesus' popularity spread far and wide through His teachings, healing and miracles. This obviously sowed seeds of jealousy and fear in His enemies. Poverty and greed led Judas the Iscariot to betray Him for a meagre thirty pieces of silver, just a day after breaking bread with Him. Of course, what Judas didn't know was that they would try Him like a criminal and lead Him, bearing His own cross to Calvary. Peter denied Him three times! When realisation dawned, both apostles wept. It was too late for Judas, so he took his own life, while Peter was already the rock upon which Christ had built His Church. Two of His best friends let him down, differently.

Simon of Cyrene was compelled by the soldiers to help Jesus carry His cross. Simon was just a passer-by, and he was singled out. He must have been annoyed, reluctant and embarrassed by the situation. Nonetheless, he helped Jesus all the way. Though momentarily relieved, Jesus surely would have blessed Simon. Likewise, out of sympathy, Veronica wiped the face of Jesus, and in return, she was blessed with the image of His face on her veil. One was forced, the other voluntarily came forth, and we get a lesson about service from them. Mary His mother, the women of Jerusalem, and John teach us devotion and faithfulness, even in times of utter despair and grief.