Joyfulness.  Looking at Jesus nailed to the cross, joyfulness is not the word most people would think of.  But joyfulness is not always happiness. By not only reflecting on the cross but also on Jesus hanging on the cross, we are reminded of his sacrifice for us, the ultimate sacrifice for us: death.

St. Longinus is a less-than-popular saint recognized by the Church. Known as the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus’ heart, he came to see that Jesus was the Son of God, as the blood and water poured out of the side of Jesus. “Truly, this was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39)

The joyfulness of Jesus’ merciful love gushes on us, as we are redeemed through Jesus’ cross and resurrection. “Because by your cross, you have redeemed the world.” Jesus loves us so much that he carried our sins on that cross, so we may be set free; so we may have eternal life. There is joyfulness in the cross.

—Joseph Hamaty is the Executive Director of Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House in Lake Dallas, Texas.