We live in a very fast world. A fast and throwaway world, where things are often perceived as having little in the way of any real or lasting value – use it up, wear it out, throw it away. Nothing is designed to last. And so the Cross stands out as a real ‘sign of contradiction’.

The Cross stands the test of time. It has done so for 2000 years. It is as powerful a symbol now as it was in the time of Christ – and more, it conveys something as real today as it was then.

For us, the Cross is indeed a sign of contradiction; how can death give life? And yet, this is precisely what the Gospels proclaim – eternal life, bought for us by the death on the Cross of one single Man. As we hear in the Mass – “by Your Cross and Resurrection, You have set us free; You are the Saviour of the world”.

The Crucifix pictured here is more than 100 years old and has clearly been loved during that time. I keep it in my pocket and pray I will never fail to contemplate it’s meaning and reality. I also pray it will keep in my mind the reality of the Four Last Things – death, judgement, Heaven and hell.

But above all else, I pray it will continue to be for me a sign and a symbol of the trust I have in the One whose image it bears.