The Cross Still Shines

From Professor Benson’s blog

4/18/19

As the world grieves the fire that ravished Notre Dame de Paris — a national treasure of France and a symbol of Western civilization — the giant cross behind the high altar in the nave stands tall, shining in the ashy darkness, which is no coincidence during Holy Week when Christians journey toward the Cross. A journalist rightly noted, “Physical structures may feel like safe, permanent homes for humanity’s history, but they are also fragile, vulnerable to human error and malice alike.” The Cross of Christ is the only artifact of history that will survive because it is the emblem of divine love. When I prayed the collect for Tuesday in Holy Week this morning, I was arrested by its providential timing:

O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an
instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life:
Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly
suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior
Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Smoke rises in front of the cross in the interior of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. A catastrophic fire engulfed the cathedral on Monday, as tourists and Parisians looked on from the streets below. —Philippe Wojazer/AP