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Arms Stretched Out On The Cross; Stretched Between Heaven And Earth

Some years ago divers discovered a sunken ship. One of the treasures they found on it was a man’s wedding ring. Etched on the wide gold band of the ring was a hand holding a heart. Under it was this moving inscription, “I have nothing more to give you.” This inscription could have been placed on Jesus’ cross. For by his death he gave us everything he had: his body, his blood, his love, his life. He had nothing more to give us. In the Letter to the Philippians, St. Paul writes that Jesus emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, even to the point to death. In the Eucharistic Prayer of Reconciliation we pray that Jesus “stretched out his arms between heaven and earth in the everlasting sign of God’s covenant.” The cross speaks more powerfully than anything else could of God’s love for us and his desires for us to share His life. He will go to extreme lengths to wash away our sins and bring us redemption. At our baptism, we were claimed for Christ when the priest traced the cross on our foreheads. At confirmation we were sealed in that same spot with the sacred chrism again placed on us in the sign of the cross. On Good Friday, we venerate the cross, while proclaiming, “Behold the wood of the cross on which hung the savior of the world.” May we who live under the sign of the cross give ourselves back to the Lord who has given everything for us.


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