Project Description

When you look at the crucifix, what do you see? Take a moment and contemplate the question. Look up and gaze upon Jesus hanging on an instrument of torture, pain and execution, the most horrible way to die.

When you look at the crucifix, what do you see?

When you look at the crucifix, can you see glory? The definition of glory is honor, respect, renown and distinction. How can horrible cruelty be a sign of glory?

When you look at the crucifix, can you see love?

Today’s gospel returns us to the table of the Last Supper in St. John’s gospel where Jesus’ primary sign of love, of service, of self-giving and of sacrifice was the washing of his disciples’ feet.

John makes the point that Jesus washed everyone’s feet, even Judas’. Not only that, Judas received food from Jesus’ own hand.

When we understand this shared meal as a communion, we realize that Jesus gave himself to Judas just when Judas was preparing to abandon and betray the group. Once Judas left, Jesus announced that his glorification had begun. It would also be God’s glorification in him. Jesus is revealing God’s glory as well as participating in it.

Jesus’ glorification begins with the humble act of washing the feet of the disciples and giving them a new commandment to love one another as he loves them.

Then he tells them that this self-sacrificing, unconditional loving is what will reveal to the world God’s love for everyone in the world. “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

When you look at the crucifix, can you see love?

When you look at the crucifix, can you see yourself loving?

When you look at the crucifix, can you see your life?

“Paul and Barnabas strengthened the spirit of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in faith, saying, ‘It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.’”

When we look at the crucifix, can we see Paul and Barnabas and the early church?

When we look at the crucifix, can we see the martyrs who gave their lives because they believed that Jesus Christ was indeed the only begotten Son of God and that his command to “love one another as I have loved you” defined their very essence, their purpose and their meaning?

When we look at the crucifix, can we comprehend how greatly we are loved?

When we look at the crucifix, can we see ourselves as disciples, as followers of Jesus Christ and table companions with one another?

When we look at the crucifix, can we see love incarnate?

When we look at the crucifix, can we see joy?

What we look at the crucifix, can we see community, can we see one another in the loving embrace of Jesus’ outstretched arms?

When you come forward to receive Holy Communion this morning, look up at the crucifix and see love.

When you receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion, may you experience the glory of God alive in you making real and true Jesus’ words, “Love one another as I have loved you.”