On the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (14th September) the sombre shadows of Holy Week are absent and throughout the month of September we glory in the triumph of Christ’s Holy Cross as the instrument of our salvation. It saves. It heals. It restores. It transforms. The sin in our lives, the pains we inflict on ourselves and on others, the mess we make of so much that we touch – all that can be strangely reversed by the power of the Cross.
Many of our fellow countrymen do not share our view of Christ’s Holy Cross. In this country the growing majority are wholly indifferent to Christ, and sadly ignorant of the meaning of His death upon the Cross. For so many people the only time they ever hear or use the Holy Name of Jesus is as a swear word. That is what we have come to.
What causes this indifference, this ignorance? Maybe we who are privileged to understand (albeit imperfectly) the import of the Cross, are not doing enough to raise up the Son of God for all to see and know? Are we too reticent in proclaiming the saving truth about our Lord Jesus Christ? Do we speak up publicly about Him? Do we publicly and explicitly defend His sovereign prerogatives? Do we in fact evangelize in any real sense? Do our own lives provide sufficiently compelling evidence of the truth of what we say we believe?
Christ died for all. The redemption won for us by His Passion and Cross is applicable to all who want it. The problem is that not everyone has heard about it, and of those who have heard about it, so many are simply not interested, perhaps we should say, not yet interested.
If the New Evangelization is to happen in any way that goes beyond the merely notional, there is much work to be done; much preaching, teaching, and catechizing are needed if we do indeed wish to spread the Gospel and preserve God’s truth in this needy country and beyond.
Let us not pretend. The shadow is growing, and is coming closer.
[image: relic of the True Cross, at the Oxford Oratory]