Cardinal Wuerl Gifts Processional Cross to Cathedral

A visible reminder that Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cardinal Donald Wuerl celebrated Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle today and presented the cathedral with a processional cross as a gift. The cardinal began his homily by referencing the Gospel reading of the day in which Jesus calls on his disciples to leave everything and follow him, as well as the second reading in which Saint Paul writes of the Apostles’ task  to proclaim the message of the Church. “What is unfolding in the Gospel today is something that has been repeated over and over and over again for twenty centuries,” said the cardinal. “Some hear in their heart Jesus’ call, ‘Do not be afraid,’ and they are prepared to leave everything and follow him. But what are they to do? What is the task of these Apostles upon whom Christ will rest his Church?”

There are many things that constitute the heritage and teaching of our beloved Catholic Church, continued Cardinal Wuerl, but it is Saint Paul, who in today’s reading tells us the task “of first importance” for the Apostle is sharing the proclamation of the Church: Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again. Every Mass should be a moment of spiritual renewal and personal confirmation of this.

“The Church lifts high the cross ‘to remind us of the invitation to renew our personal encounter with Christ.’ It is for our sins that Christ has come among us, died on the cross for our sins, and was raised on the third day so that we, too, might have hope of redemption and salvation.” said the cardinal. “Whenever we come together for the celebration of Mass, we do so in full communion with the Successor to Peter and Bishop of Rome. When we place this crucifix alongside the altar, we are in a clear and visible manner proclaiming that Christ died for our sins, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day,” said Cardinal Wuerl as he concluded his homily.

The processional cross that Cardinal Wuerl gave to the cathedral has special meaning because within it is a pectoral cross that was a gift from the United States bishops to Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani in recognition of his 25th anniversary as the Apostolic Delegate (the delegate of the Holy Father) to the Church in the United States. Contained within the cross is a relic of the True Cross.