Soon after the Portuguese left Goa and India took over, one could see (and still see) crosses at every nook and corner of Goa – hill and meadow, field and ghetto, roadside and bridge side! The church encouraged established catholics and converts to build such crosses whether it was for thanksgiving, vow fulfillment or protection. Over the past many years, Hindus have also started building their own little shrines, sometimes alongside existing crosses. These crosses and shrines are now becoming a huge problem for public works development, due to public sentiment. Many times, even roads are diverted in order to save such shrines from destruction (Even if these are non-historical!). Good neighbours and villagers have started fighting over such shrines mindlessly!
This article is not aimed at ridiculing any of the two communities but rather to beg the understanding of my own ‘fellow catholics’. I for one was a staunch ‘catholic’ when i was living in Goa but now i ‘zoom out’ and see the fallacy behind it all! Now, i understand what it is to follow Christ. Now i know the meaning of Christ’s words to the Samaritan woman at the well – ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father’ and again he says, ‘True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth’. When through faith in Jesus the Holy Spirit gives us spiritual life, we are born again. We have a living spirit. We can worship in spirit; our spirits are alive and we have God’s Spirit within. And now we can see and embrace truth — the Truth, Jesus Christ.
Stop for a minute and think. Why will a few crosses be miraculous and others not? Think in line with what i’ve written in the second paragraph above and let the truth set you free. Let every cross you see remind you of just 10 things:
- Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven
- Jesus was wounded that we might be healed
- Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness, that we might be made righteous with His righteousness
- Jesus tasted death for us that we might share His life
- Jesus was made a curse that we might receive the blessing
- Jesus endured our poverty that we might share His abundance
- Jesus bore our shame that we might share His glory
- Jesus endured my rejection that I might have His acceptance with the Father
- He was cut off that we might be joined to the Lord
- Our Old Man was put to death in Him that the New Man might come to life in us
The DIVINE EXCHANGE ON THE CROSS!
My prayer is for the people of Goa to live in peace always!