Cross reminds us to “return good for every evil received,” says Cardinal Advincula

As Filipino Catholics see the image of Jesus crucified as a regular fixture everywhere, Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula encouraged everyone to reflect on the true meaning of the Holy Cross as the central symbol of the Christian faith.

Speaking before the community of Sanctuario del Santo Cristo Parish in San Juan on their feast day last May 3, the Archbishop of Manila said that the Cross symbolizes the core of a Christian’s vocation, and everyone should appreciate its intense power and revolutionary message to the faithful.

“We have often heard how the vertical and horizontal beams of the cross represent the two greatest commandments. The vertical beam reminds us to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind; while the horizontal beam calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves. The cross is the core of a Christian’s vocation, not only because it summarizes the ten commandments, but also because it was the pattern of our Lord Jesus Christ’s life,” he stressed.

Cardinal Advincula also reflected the logic of a “just and mysterious law of the cross” that theologian Bernard Lonergan talked about, which is “to return good for every evil received,” by which Jesus experienced in His life and passion.

He also pointed out that there will be no end to the downward cycle of violence if one always seeks for revenge, malign or pain for every evil received.

“[W]hen we return good for every evil received, the old cycle is impeded, and a new cycle is initiated – the cycle of forgiveness and love. In returning good for every evil received, the expected response is good, ad infinitum,” the archbishop of Manila said.

“Without allowing oneself to be abused, and by responding with active and constructive non-violence, the reign of God’s love can be realized in our interpersonal relationships,” he added.

The shrine community continues to celebrate the Feast of the Cross on its former date, May 3, as it coincides with the date when the parish was officially founded through a decree of erection issued by former Manila Archbishop Michael O’Doherty on May 3, 1942. (By Lem Leal Santiago/RCAM-AOC | Photo by Kyler Bernardo/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery)


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