Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio
His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič
The cross of Christ has always been a sign of contradiction from the very day Jesus was crucified on Calvary up until our own times. Many even today find it scandalous that God would appear in human form and suffer such a terrible death at the hands of men. Others consider the cross complete folly for the world in which we live in, which lives according to the struggle of the fittest. Yet for us Catholics and indeed all Christians it will always remain a sign of God’s great love towards the world and mankind.
The cross is the supreme revelation of God. To be crucified on a cross is what God in his love towards mankind owes to those who are crucified in their lives.
God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. Between the words God and world, there is the expression of God’s great love towards the world. This is very reassuring. God loves the world and all of his creation. Salvation therefore is in the fact that he loves us and not that we love him. “We are not Christians because we love God. We are Christians because we believe that God loves us” (Xardel).
The meeting point between God and the world is the cross. The cross is what lifts up the world to heaven and lowers heaven down to earth. It is literally a cross-road, a path full of challenges, difficulties, hardships, struggles, yet all of which, make us better men and women.
The cross is the only true icon, that which brings down to earth the power of God, which is to serve and not to be served, to save and not to condemn, to offer up one’s life and not to destroy life.
The cross also carries the image of true mankind. A true man is not one who accumulates wealth and power, who lives by violence and destroys life, but one who is capable of offering the supreme gift of himself, becoming a brother to all, who loves until death, lifting up to God his prayers and offering his sufferings, in order to offer himself into his loving hands. Just as Jesus did before dying on the cross Father into your hands I commend my spirit (Lk 23:46).