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The Love Notes Hidden In The Crucifix

I was preparing for Sunday Liturgy to begin one recent Sunday, when I glanced over to the left of the main altar and looked at the life-sized, sculpted stone crucifix, Corpus and all. The Scripture reading for that day was the questioning of Jesus by the scribe, and Jesus’ confirmation that the scribe’s understanding of God’s law of love placed him:

“Not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12:28-34).

A New Perspective on Sacrifice

As I meditated on the readings for Mass, I kept looking over at Jesus’ figure hanging on the cross, nailed hands and feet, with the crown of thorns. The message that we are all familiar with, that Jesus loved us so much that He gave His life for us by His Passion, Death, and Resurrection, was very much present on my mind.

The Mystery of Love and Suffering

Then it is as if a veil had been lifted, and I saw Christ’s all-consuming sacrifice in a different light. There He hung, watching and waiting for each one of us to respond to the love He so longed to share with us. I was seeing His kind, healing, loving hands, and those feet of His that tirelessly carried God’s love everywhere, for the first time. Jesus’ extended hands and arms were signaling His deep love for all of us, ardently desiring to envelop and embrace us. His legs and feet, though horribly restrained, were longing to run to us, like the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son. See Luke 15: 11-32.

But those arms and hands that so craved embracing us were nailed to the cross of our sins. His feet could not run toward us, because again, they were nailed to the cross of our sins. I had a realization that in our sins, we are responsible for keeping Jesus from coming to us as He longs to do.

The Journey to Calvary

But before Jesus lay on the cross to be nailed to it, on His way to Calvary He embraced and carried the cross of our sins, enduring seemingly endless lashes from the whips of His torturers, and the stones and filth thrown at Him. He was wearing the crown that had on it the thorns of our evil, hate-filled, loveless, sinful thoughts, that newly-pierced His adorable head each time the cross He was carrying moved or shifted in any way. Our Lord was nearing complete exhaustion, falling three times with the pain of the falls being multiplied by the crown of thorns and the heavy cross He carried.

Abandonment and Forgiveness

But the most hurtful thing of all was that He was abandoned and left alone on that cross by the majority of those who had professed their loyalty and undying love for Him. He thirsted for that very love, giving His forgiveness even to those who were, even then, relentless in their curses and insults, and blind in their fury and hate of the Holy Victim, as He suffered for their benefit. While in the midst of His torture and anguish, and as He neared the end, He left us all He had, out of sheer love: His Mother. In the person of the Good Thief, He offered joy and eternal life to the repentant, even at the hour of death.

The Ultimate Gift of Mercy

Then, when He had finally expired, and when one would think He had no more to give, He was pierced with the lance, and the fathomless gift of mercy and salvation flowed abundantly out of His side in the form of blood and water, available to all of us for the taking.

The Choice is Ours

Today, as we look at Jesus’ body nailed to the cross, while we know that He died once, for all of us, and that He is resurrected, glorified, and free of that cross, we can imagine that when we choose to sin, it is those very sins that keep Jesus away from us, and keep Him from fully and freely approaching us, so that we can share and partake in all the gifts and happiness He has to offer us. See, 1 Peter 3:18.

Embracing Love and Life

Our Lord will not violate our free will. If we want to persist in our sins, He will sadly allow that. However, if we turn from the wrong we have done, we release Our Lord from those sins that have prevented Jesus from running to us, His arms outstretched and His feet free to race, taking us in His arms and embracing us in that all-consuming love He longs to give us, so that we can have that life He has intended for us, and have it abundantly. See John 10:10. In our joy, we can also invite others to share in Jesus’ love for us, and in that abundant life, in the same way that brought us to Him.

Victor Negrón is a husband, father, grandfather, practicing lawyer, former judge, Past-President of the San Antonio Catholic Lawyers Guild, lay evangelist, and Board Member of Pilgrim Center of Hope and A Woman’s Haven. Judge Negrón became Board Certified in Family Law in 1987. As a lay evangelist, Victor has served as a leader for Eucharistic Adoration of San Antonio, Inc., and has been involved with Pilgrim Center of Hope’s evangelizing activities since its early years – formerly as emcee for the Catholic Men’s Conference, and currently as a member of the PCH Board of Directors.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit