The WORD in other words (2021) by Fr. Anthony Salas, SVD (St. Isidore Labrador Parish, Loreto, Agusan del Sur)
Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, September 14
A couple who have been married for fifteen years were at the brink of separating after the wife came to know the extramarital affairs of the husband with another woman.
The wife was furious, depressed, and was buried in self-pity, asking, “Why would God allow this to happen to me? Why does God have to add the weight of the cross that I am carrying with this painful reality? I can’t bear it anymore.”
Without excusing the infraction of the husband, perhaps, this is partly what the marriage vows mean: “for better or for worst, in sickness and in health, till death do you part.”
To experience pain and to suffer for the beloved are not alien to Christianity. Jesus himself, the son of God, showed us how suffering and even death could be redemptive.
Both Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate the Exaltation of the Cross, today’s feast. For believers, the cross is not just a symbol; it is not just a decoration on a wall, or a beautiful necklace hanging on our chest. It is our constant reminder that Christ endured pain, suffering, and death for his love of humanity.
We are saved because of the cross. And like Christ, carrying our crosses, and enduring the pain and suffering that this entails will definitely lead us to our glorious resurrection.
The husband, with remorse, sorrow, and humility, asked forgiveness from his wife and reconciled with her.
Both have endured the pain and suffering that may come in marriage. They did not give up on each other; they did not give up on their marriage.
Their experience of the cross as husband and wife has led them to a deeper relationship as a married couple and as parents.