Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI

At the foot of the cross

At the foot of the cross
Amidst division then and now, Jesus shows the way to reconciliation

by Sister Elise Cholewinski

I recently met a woman who hardly knew me, but as soon as I appeared on the scene she began to vent her anger and frustration about many things in the Church and world today. She was assuming that the people who are not attending Mass don’t believe in God and questioned the Church’s closing its doors and presenting the Mass virtually during this time of the pandemic. Later in the day I was talking with a friend who was wondering if she should abandon her Catholic faith. She wasn’t happy with the strict God she had come to know as a child. She questioned why attendance at Sunday Mass is an obligation. Needless to say, by the end of the day I was mentally exhausted.

In an age when there are so many conflicting opinions about issues in the Church and world I realize how important it is that I remain faithful to the Church and its teachings. How, when it comes to the vast array of positions that people take, should I know what side to take? Where should I stand?

At the cross.

On Good Friday, as Jesus hung on the cross, He embraced the tension between “Hosanna” and “Crucify him”, between fidelity and betrayal, between sorrow and satisfaction, between good and evil. Our call today is to do the same, to be truly centered, to embrace in love people, words, ideas that are bitterly opposed, and in the process to recognize new life rising.

In His death and Resurrection did Jesus not bring about the reconciliation of opposites? Is that not what redemption is all about?


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