Fifteen years ago I was making the Spiritual Exercises and came to the meditation on the Crucifixion. I imagined myself approaching Mary and John at the foot of the cross and inquiring, “what is going on?” As they began to speak, my eyes moved to meet the eyes of Jesus on the cross. His words to me were simple and direct: “David, I will never stop telling you how much I love you. And I want all my people to know this.”

For me, at that moment the meaning of the cross shifted forever. It was no longer a mysterious way Jesus redeems the world, but an impassioned call of love. It is a call of love that seeks love in return. It is an invitation to be in love! This is redemption, the reestablishment of the bond of love between each of us and God. It does not stop here, however;  it is a gift which God calls us to share with all his people, especially those who know little or no love in their lives.

—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.