1997 Sept 14 – Feast of Holy Cross (Bulletin Letters)
Cycle B Feast of the Holy Cross
Feast of the Holy Cross
Sept 14, 1997
With our focus being the cross that Jesus was crucified, I wonder what our Lord thought of that same cross, as he headed towards Jerusalem for his final confrontation, passion and death.
The meaning of the cross in Jesus’s day was very clear and known universally by Jesus’s contemporaries. Roman crucifixions were used often and everywhere in the Empire. It was a form of state terrorism. They function to deter resistance or revolt. They were used mostly against the lower class.
Historians tell us that there were literally tens of thousands of Roman crucifixions of Jews in Palestine during the first century. Sometimes they were done in mass, after major rebellions. Most of the time they were done in small numbers, steadily and publicly to deter any would be rebellion.
Jesus would have known all of this, first hand! Given the years he lived and the knowledge we gain about his activities and whereabouts from the Gospels and adding what we know historically about first century Palestine, we know that Jesus must have witness hundreds of crucifixions during his life time.
Crucifixions were god awful spectacles that went on for days after the person died. The bodies were usually left on the cross to be consumed eventually by the wild beast. It was this final cruelty and dishonor that made crucifixions most terrifying.
I wonder what was going on in Jesus’s mind and in his heart as he headed towards Jerusalem? He had to be fully aware of the consequences that were to befall him when it was his time to speak “Truth to Power”.
97 09 14
Fr. Frank in Pittsburgh- Sept. 26-28. I’ve been asked to witness the marriage of Vince Ireane, a long time Catholic Worker and friend in Pittsburgh PA the weekend of Sept. 26 – 28. The wedding coincides with the 20th Anniversary of the Duncan & Porter C.W.er in Pittsburgh. Vince founded this community.
I will fly to Pittsburgh and return in time for the Lacona Smorgasbord.
Fr. Paul Strittmater SJ will be covering the weekend Masses. A Des Moines native and Jesuit, Paul’s most resent assignment was pastor of a parish on an Indian reservation in the Black Hills in SD. He is back in D.M. to visit his elderly mother. Paul is a great guy and I am sure you will enjoy his visit.