We Stand at the Foot of the Cross

Catholic Standard photo/Michael Hoyt: Mount Calvary Church, Forestville, MD

Catholics all over the world are gathering on this Good Friday to step forward and stand at the foot of the cross. We come to the foot of the cross because we recognize the possibility of our redemption.  In spite of our failures, our sins, our weakness, Jesus not only loves us, but he hung on the cross. He shed his blood unto death for each of us. Today, he invites us, as he always has, to come to his cross and see in it our salvation, our forgiveness, our newness.

What brings you and me to the foot of the cross today is our understanding of who Jesus is and what he accomplished for you and for me as he hung on the cross and died.

The reason you and I can come to the foot of the cross and stand there with Mary and John is because we know that Jesus welcomes us.  He hangs on that cross offering his life to the Father for you and for me.  We are not abstractions.  We are the reason he came and why he gladly took up the cross in the first place.

We stand at the foot of the cross because in it we recognize the sign of God’s love for us, the ransom Christ paid for us and the new life, the new beginning, the fresh start that it signifies for each of us. “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev 21:5). God wants our friendship.  He offers us his.

What can we bring to the foot of the cross? What is it we can offer? What we bring and what we can freely offer today is our love for God, who is so willing to forgive, and our faith in his Son, who purchases that forgiveness for us with his blood. We also bring our sorrow, our contrition and our resolve that as we leave the foot of the cross we will be all the more committed to Jesus, his Gospel, his Church, his challenge today.

Today, Good Friday, we stand at the foot of the cross so that we can, once again, renew in our hearts the meaning of the cross and why Jesus chose to die on it – to   show the incredible depth of God’s love for us, a love so deep it would bring Jesus to the cross and you and me to the foot of the cross.

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