September 14th is Holy Cross Day. It is one of the many feasts and fasts that pepper the Church’s calendar that don’t necessarily fall on a Sunday. It is an observance that is meant to help us reflect upon and celebrate the cross beyond our meditations onGood Friday.
On Holy Cross Day, we can appreciate the miracle of the great reversal of the cross as a symbol. From something that firmly represented terror, oppression, violence, pain, and death, unimaginably transformed into a sign of hope, peace, life and love. A symbol that we use now to bless rather than curse. A symbol with which we adorn our bodies, homes, and churches.
Though the Church’s actions have once again turned the cross for many into a sign of hurt, violence, judgement and death, on Holy Cross Day, we can pray and hope that it might once again be redeemed.
Though I am sure it was not intentional, I think that there is something beautiful about having Holy Cross Day fall within the Season of Creation. Because I believe we can gain insight into the cross, and the amazing transformation that took place, all around us.
We can see and understand the cross in the salmon running up the rivers right now, their rotting, breaking, battered bodies, destined for death, giving life to not just the next generation, but to an entire ecosystem. We can see and understand the cross in a burned-down forest, in the fireweed and other plants that spring up from the ashes, in life returning to the devastation. We can see and understand the cross in the fallen, decaying body of a tree, that becomes nourishment and a home for fungi, insects, and plants.
May we see the cross all around us today, may we see the transformation that God is working for the good, may we be part of it, may we live it.
Thanks be to God!