Mass Readings: Ezekiel 47:1–9, 12/John 5:1–16

Crucifix Gazing

Every day this Lent, I spend a few minutes just gazing at a crucifix. I’m not saying a prayer, or thinking deep thoughts. I’m just staring at the crucifix, letting this tremendous mystery, osmosis-like, enter me. There is usually a procession in my parish before Sunday Mass, with a crucifix bearer leading the way. A few years ago, I started raising my eyes from the hymnal to that crucifix, just gazing at it for a few seconds to prepare myself for Mass.

In November 2012, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. That got me seriously thinking about death, of course, and about Jesus’ death in particular and what it means. I’m still struggling with the meaning, but the simple act of staring at the crucifix this Lent is beginning to open my eyes.

Prayer: Crucified Christ, help me to understand the mystery of Your suffering and death.