In the liturgy of Good Friday there is a public adoration of the Holy Cross where the Cross is uncovered, “Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the salvation of the world,” and venerated by the faithful.
This Feast echoes the same celebration, “We should glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection, through whom we are saved and delivered.”
Adoration of the Holy Cross is adoration of Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our salvation. The Cross symbolizes for us the passion, death and resurrection of Christ.
Because of what it represents, the Cross is the most powerful and universal symbol of Christian faith and love. The sign of the Cross invokes the Triune God and is used at all blessings:
The first reading tells us about the bronze serpent Moses made at the instruction of Yahweh: “Whenever a man was bitten [by a fiery serpent], he looked toward the bronze serpent and he lived.” Jesus on the cross is our salvation.
Jesus refers to the bronze serpent in his conversation with Nicodemus, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”
In the reading from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, Paul tells us how God has glorified Jesus for his obedience, “He humbled himself by being obedient to death, death on the cross.”
St. Ignatius of Loyola recommends that, as we contemplate Jesus on the Cross, we ask: “What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for him? What ought I do for him?”