By Anita Fischer
Chaplain, St. Cloud Hospital
We hang crucifixes over doors in our homes, front and center in churches, around necks and fingers and even from rear-view mirrors in cars. The crucifix is a powerful symbol that reminds us of surrender and sacrifice, love and triumph, even fear and hate. The chaos that surrounds the news and social media these days can be overwhelming, even more if we take the time to view these events through the lens of the crucifixion.
Jesus is nailed to the cross: People being trafficked. Communities being bombed. War. Shootings. Abuse.
Jesus is nailed to the cross: Poverty. Disease. Marginalization. Racism.
Jesus is nailed to the cross: Individualism. Polarization. Finger-pointing. Apathy.
When we gaze upon the crucifix in our homes, churches and cars, do we see Christ crucified over 2,000 years ago? Or, do we see Christ’s crucifixion happening in our world every day?
As I reflect on the 11th station, Jesus is nailed to the cross, I examine my conscience. Year after year in the liturgy, we are immersed in this story. Not to reenact it, but to remember and reflect on the difference this event continues to have in our lives, in our world. It is difficult to put myself in the shoes of the nailer. I want to think I am incapable of such an action. But I am human. I fail to act and I sin.
How often have I nailed Jesus to the cross?
It is then that I remember the other side of the coin. Jesus is nailed to the cross! This triumphant surrender by God because of a love we can only glimpse here on earth washes me anew, challenges me to try again, and calls me to see Christ in everyone I encounter. This call renews a love inside of me for my neighbor, my family, myself. Christ persistently works withineach of us, reminding us to take care of his body and heal the wounds of the world. What can you do, this Lent, to wash the wounded Christ inside you and in our world?