“…[Together] we are burdened by the same struggles and beset by the same weaknesses;
[together] we are made new by the same Lord’s love;
[together] we hope for a world where justice and love prevail.”
- Holy Cross Constitutions 2:12
At the very heart of the Christian message is the call to newness of life. In John’s Gospel, Jesus exclaims: “I came so that they
may have life and have it more abundantly” (10:10). The Christian life is one of encounter with the living God, who comes to us
in abundant love, tenderness, and joy. Throughout the Gospels, we see examples of Jesus entering into people’s lives in
moments of sadness, desperation, and suffering. In and through their faith, they - the downtrodden, the readily left out, and
easily despised of Jesus’ time - encounter the immense love that God seeks to wrap the entire world in. Similarly, a central pillar
of our Holy Cross mission at St. Edward High School is faith - a faith that calls us to radical trust in God’s Providence. All over the
world, the past few years have been filled with uncertainty, unrest, discord, and suffering. As we enter into this new school year,
we do so with a zealous spirit of being MADE NEW in the Lord’s tender love. We are called to live out the words of the Holy
Cross Constitutions, which affirm our joyful faith: “Jesus entered into the pain and death that sin inflicts. He accepted the
torment but gave us joy in return. We whom He has sent to minister amid the same sin and pain must know that we too shall find the cross and the hope it promises” (8:118).
We enter into this school year with MADE NEW as our central theme; it will be our guidepost, our starting point, and our lighted beacon in everything that we do. In his recent apostolic exhortation on the preaching of the Gospel in the modern world, Pope Francis calls each of us to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ; one that is rooted in the joy of being wonderfully made and deeply loved. As I pray with this year’s theme, I regularly return to the Parable of the Prodigal Son in which we encounter unbounded compassion leading to newness of life: “While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him” (Lk. 15:20). God adoringly sees us with the eyes of a parent and friend. In the spirit of the father in this beautiful parable, we commit ourselves to making all things - ourselves, each other, and our whole community - new in Jesus’ tender style.
Our commitment to making all things new in faith extends all the way back to 1837, when Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C. and Father Jacques Dujarie brought
some auxiliary priests and the Brothers of St. Joseph together to found the Congregation of Holy Cross. Ours must be the same hope, the same commitment to newness of life that these brave priests sought to bring into a society torn apart by the French Revolution. We continue the work that our founding Holy Cross brothers began here in Lakewood in 1949. They came to Cleveland with the same zeal, courage, and newness of life which each of us is called to embody in our own lives.
Our Holy Cross roots are strong and deep, and so is our dedication to keeping the Congregation’s mission alive here at St.
Edward. The task to bring Easter joy and newness of life to all we encounter is not an easy one, but we enter into this beautiful shared work of ours with a renewed zeal, as our Holy Cross Constitutions remind us: “Our mission is the Lord’s and so is the strength for it. We turn to Him in prayer that He will clasp us more firmly to Himself and use our hands and wits to do the work that only He can do. Then our work itself becomes a prayer: a service that speaks to the Lord who works through us” (2:20). Our mission is the Lord’s, and we go about its work with a renewed zeal, joy, and faith, strengthened by the same love that makes all things new.
“The Lord, your God is in your midst, a warrior who gives you the victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love." (Zechariah 3:17)
"...Stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. Your every act should be done with love." (1 Corinthians 16:13)
"There is no failure the Lord's love cannot reverse, no humiliation he cannot exchange for blessing, no anger he cannot dissolve, no routine he cannot transfigure. All is swallowed up in victory." (Holy Cross Constitutions 8:118)
"Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than his life, which impels us onward." (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium)