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‘Diwai Kros’ Group celebrated the Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Panga, Wurup Parish: The Diwai Kros’ Ministry Group of the Mt. Hagen Catholic Archdiocese gathered at Panga Outstation, Wurup Parish and celebrated the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on Tuesday 14 September, 2021.

Members of the ‘Diwai Kros’ group from several parishes; St. Pauls, Fatima, Minj, Koibuga, Rebiamul, Tabuga and Wurup, all gathered at Panga Outstation for the event. They gathered a day earlier on Monday and spent a night together in prayer and devotion to the Holy Cross, and prepared for the feast day celebration. This year’s feast day celebration also coincides with the 4th anniversary of the Diwai Kros group in Mt. Hagen Archdiocese.

Among those present for the event was the Archbishop Douglas Young SVD, Fr. Michael Akel, spiritual director of the Diwai Kros group, and Fr. Paul Gunbi, the Parish Priest of Wurup, Mr. Michael Kat, Chairman of the Diwai Kros group and other church leaders. The Holy Mass was led by the Archbishop with two priest concelebrated with him. The youth led the songs and music with well-presented Bible and Offertory processional dances.

In his homily, the Archbishop spoke elaborately of the Holy Cross and what it means for us Christians. He stressed that as Christians we should be men and women of the Cross. The Cross must always be before us. Though we are not able to understand fully the mystery behind it, but simply by looking and meditating upon it, let Jesus reveal to us what we need to know.

The Cross is significantly the sign of God’s immense love for us. The Holy Cross is the centre of our faith. Beside our admiration and veneration of the Cross, we must make it a living reality in our hearts, in our whole life. We must be the sign and symbol of the Cross to others in our lives. We must imitate Jesus who humbled himself and died for us on the Cross, hence, we too must humble ourselves for the service of others. It is easy to honour and to venerate the Cross, but it is hard and very challenging to do what the Cross demands from each of us.

“It is a custom within the Catholic Church to look at the Holy Cross and simply meditate on it, we cannot fully understand its entire mystery. We can only look at it, meditate upon it, and let Jesus himself reveal to us what we have to know.

The Cross should be in front of us every time. It is a means to go deep into the devotion and reality of the Cross itself. It is the custom in the Catholic Church to have the Cross everywhere; in our communities, family homes and all around us. Almost all our spiritual encounters with God, starts and ends with the sign of the Cross; church worships, liturgies, prayers, sacraments, funerals and blessing/anointing etc. We submit ourselves to the Holy Cross simply because it is the centre of our faith.

As we meditate upon the Holy Cross, we feel the love and closeness of God on us, for the Cross itself doubtlessly shows how much God loves and forgives us. There is no greater love than for someone to willingly lay down his life for the other. This is the first and foremost meaning we all can take out from seeing the Holy Cross. Jesus willingly died for us all, and the Cross fulfilled all that Jesus has said and did, all is culminated on the Cross.

The other most important aspect is that, when we admire, honour and venerate the Holy Cross, it must be a living reality in our hearts and lives. It should not be just an external symbol, it must be alive in us, and we belong to the Cross, we become sign and symbol of the Holy Cross to others. It is easy to honour and venerate the Cross but it is very challenging and hard to do what it demands of us. As Saint Paul tells us that Jesus was God, but he willingly humbled himself, he became human, a slave, was seen and treated as a criminal. Because Jesus humbled himself to the point of dying on the Cross, God the Father has glorified him and gave him the position above all else. To this date, after 2000 years billions of people around the world worship Christ Jesus for his immense humility.

We as people of the Cross must imitate Jesus, and be humble as to be servants for the service of others. When we part take in the Church, we humble ourselves and give space for others and to Jesus in our lives. Cooperation and collaboration needs humility and obedience on our part in the Church which is the Body of Christ, and all the body parts must cooperate and coordinate as one. We pray for the gift of humility and obedient service to the people of God in our lives as people of the Holy Cross.”

On that event, three youths received their first Holy Communion from the Archbishop and the bishop also blessed the new musical instruments for the Parish Youth.

After the mass, the ‘Diwai Kros’ group leaders invited the Archbishop to cut the cake to mark the 4th Anniversary of this devotional group in the Archdiocese. The celebration ended with sharing of meal as a sign of cooperation and happiness in this achievement.

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