Jewels have value in this life—for their rare beauty. Their appeal is universal, they are often associated with marks of distinction, and they can be obtained only at great cost.
The cross has often become such a banal cliché that many forget its torturous associations. Christians are wisely challenged to reflect on its meaning and the details of such a love that would compel the God-man to freely endure this suffering. Truly the human depths of our love and gratitude for God can never grasp the real cost of his gift.
So what does a “jeweled cross” indicate? It means that the suffering we endure for love has value—and even more so when joined to the salvific work of Christ. His is the cross that gives merit to our pain, and he is the one who shows what love can accomplish.
While we meditate on this truth in Lent, every tragedy, such as the loss of a child, can become its own Lent—of seeming endless duration. Its Easter mysteries may be shrouded in tears, and the victory of love over death may be clouded by the very ache of such love so tinged with fresh sorrow. That is entirely understandable.
But laying these sorrows on the altar of God will allow those jewels to glimmer and shine over time—so that their value may begin to emerge. The pain subsides somewhat, the unexpected insights seep in, and the hope of reunion may direct many to amend their lives. (Read More.)