A couple of years ago, our liturgy committee invited several members of our worshipping community to help generate ideas for our Lent and Advent liturgical themes. This year there was much discussion around the meaning of the cross, our own personal transformation, and the needed transformation of the world. We summarized the discussion into our theme for Lent:
What does the Cross call us to as followers of Jesus in 2019?
Our community will hear selected readings from Elizabeth Johnson’s Creation and the Cross: The Mercy of God for a Planet in Peril, and Stricken by God? Nonviolent Identification and the Victory of Christ. We will explore how the violent death of Jesus on the Cross has implications for carrying the message of peace and forgiveness in our world today.
At Sunday Eucharist we will carry in procession a beautiful cross given to us by Sr. Cathy Nerney, SSJ, during our winter retreat in which we prayed with Etty Hillesum. These crosses are hand carved by the people of Rwanda and are accompanied by this poignant message:
The RWANDAN CROSS: The BODY of CHRIST
When you look at this image of the cross, you will see that there really is NO CROSS. It is the BODY OF CHRIST, Christ has assimilated the cross within himself. It is a great reminder to us that there are many parts of Christ’s Body who are suffering today. The cross comes to each of us in many various forms and shapes, but it is not always visible, except to “those who have eyes to see.” This image was made by people who have “eyes to see.” The crosses are made in Rwanda to assist those who have suffered great tragedy and who endure much suffering. It is clear to them that there is no death without resurrection. In their own words, “We are a crucified but risen people.” May this image of the BODY of CHIRST unite us in prayer with them and with all the members of the BODY of CHRIST.
Let us pray that we may all be given “eyes to see.”