Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Joyfulness. Looking at Jesus nailed to the cross, joyfulness is not the word most people would think of. But joyfulness is not always happiness. By not only reflecting on the cross but also on Jesus hanging on the cross, we are reminded of his sacrifice for us, the ultimate sacrifice for us: death.
St. Longinus is a less-than-popular saint recognized by the Church. Known as the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus’ heart, he came to see that Jesus was the Son of God, as the blood and water poured out of the side of Jesus. “Truly, this was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39)
The joyfulness of Jesus’ merciful love gushes on us, as we are redeemed through Jesus’ cross and resurrection. “Because by your cross, you have redeemed the world.” Jesus loves us so much that he carried our sins on that cross, so we may be set free; so we may have eternal life. There is joyfulness in the cross.
—Joseph Hamaty is the Executive Director of Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House in Lake Dallas, Texas.
As I gaze upon the holy cross, Jesus, I see not only sorrow but joy, joy for your great merciful love for me. I am grateful to you for setting me free from the bondage of sin and the promise of eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” Cross of Christ, you are the source of our strength and courage, our victory lies in you.