YOU CANNOT DOUBLE-CROSS THE CROSS
Have you ever wondered about the logo of this blog page. I used a Redemptorist mission cross to create it. This mission cross is used by Redemptorists especially when we are involved with extraordinary preaching. I used the rope on the cross to form an ‘S’ shape while the crucifix itself is naturally a ‘T’ shape. What you get from it is the title of a saint (St). What it says is that you cannot become a saint without the cross. No two saints are the same. Yet, nobody who have avoided the cross can become a saint.
St. Thomas Aquinas wrote in our Office of Readings today that the cross has two roles in our lives. The first is that it brings about our salvation and the second is that it gives us an example of how to act. He said the Cross exemplifies every virtue. These two points are what we find in our readings today. In the first reading, we are told that the death of Christ took place to take away our sins and free us from eternal damnation. His blood was shed once and for all and does not need to be shed over and over again. This is to say that without the death of Jesus, we would not have been saved. None of us can be saved otherwise.
However, this salvation does not work automatically. God does not force salvation on us. So, our cooperation is also very important. A life of virtues is the antidote to a life of sin. In the Gospel, the scribes began to say that Jesus was casting out devils through the power of Beelzebul. Jesus went on to explain to them that a house divided against itself cannot stand. It is within this context that Jesus spoke about the sin against the Holy Spirit, which He says cannot be forgiven.
The big question people ask is ‘What is this sin and how can anybody avoid ever committing it. The answer to this question lies in the context. Jesus said this in the context where His authority to cast out devils and bring salvation to the people is being questioned. This sin has to do with the many ways by which we reject Christ and the salvation He brings. One big way we do this is when we accept Jesus but reject the cross. Even after His resurrection, Jesus did not get rid of the scars of the passion and death. Many people have interpreted our first reading to mean that Jesus has already paid for our salvation and we have no part to play in bringing it about. This is not true. The cross brings about our salvation and the cross exemplifies all virtues. Therefore, to reject the cross is to reject Christ as well as the salvation His death has won for us. The cross is the ladder with which we can climb to heaven. Do not be afaid!!!