Sunday, March 4, 2007

Sunday of the Holy Cross

This upcoming Sunday we remember our Lord's crucifixion in order that we might strengthen our resolve to fast, pray and repent this Lenten season. It is nearly halfway through lent, the struggle is hard and this Sunday's commemoration serves as an exhortation to all of us in our Lenten struggles. And what does the cross teach us? Christians look upon the cross always with the resurrection in mind. It is that victory that brings joy and hope to our sufferings. We rejoice in the victorious cross!

Readings: Hebrews 4:14-5:6; Mark 8:34-9:1

For the Little Ones: The Holy Cross is often referred to as the tree of life, bringing eternal life. In remembrance of this, go out and buy a small tree to plant in your yard (or, for you apartment dwellers...to replant in pots!). Try to pick a tree that blooms in the spring or bears fruit. If you plan on replanting the tree into a larger pot, have your children help you decorate the pot for the special occasion.

On Sunday, after the liturgy, gather your family together to plant the tree in your garden. After planting the tree, have the head of the household (or possibly an eldest child) read the following:

No longer does the flaming sword guard the gate of Eden, for a marvelous quenching is come upon it, even the Tree of the Cross. The sting has been taken from death, and the victory from Hades. And, You, my Savior, has appeared unto those in Hades saying: Enter again into Paradise.

During the rest of Lent, have your little ones water their 'special' tree and on Good Friday, cut off a branch or two to make a cross to adorn you prayer corner or to hang in your child's room.

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