This past Thursday, the Church celebrated the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. In the early days of Christianity, the cross was an abhorrent symbol, and wasn't used as a Christian symbol. Only with further reflection did Christians come to appreciate that God had taken something un-Godly and made it an instrument of salvation, a sign of life instead of death.
In our own times, it's probably the electric chair that strikes us as abhorrent, and whoever is put to death in such a manner is someone rejected by our society and perhaps by God as well. But there are people who are on death row awaiting the electric chair, but not because of any fault of their own. It may be that no one has yet surveyed the actual culprits to see whether they are appreciative of those who are put to death not because of their own misdeeds, but because of others who escaped arrest and death.
Whistle-blowers in the business world and the political scene risk losing their own jobs, in an effort to eradicate injustice in the workplace and in society, hoping to promote justice and equal rights for all.
Many a parent, too, sacrifices time and energy and perhaps even their own well-being, all for the benefit and well-being of their children. They may be unappreciated by their children, especially in their teenage and young-adult years.
It's not until we're in similar situations that we might begin to appreciate the generosity of spirit and human love that lies behind such sacrifices. Upon further reflection, we might praise (exalt) these examples of compassionate love on their part, sign of God's own saving love.
Thanks for your prayers of support all the while I was suspended from pastoral ministry because of an allegation of wrong-doing. From the beginning, I knew it wasn't me, but that had to be checked out. It's good to be back with you again! I just hope I haven't forgotten too much. …Fr. Greg