Our call to unity, transformation, and compassionate service is further addressed by the large “Reconciliation Cross” hanging on the reredos (back) wall. The cross itself is equilateral, showing the reconciliation (or bringing together) of north, south, east and west—all points of the globe and the diversity of all people. The horizontal and vertical beams symbolize the reconciling of heaven and earth, God and people. We are reminded of all the opposites and extremes so characteristic of our own lives and our society.

The death of Jesus on the cross was the free outpouring of love through which all extremes are unified and all woundedness is healed and made whole. It is at the moment of reconciliation and healing that new life—resurrection—occurs. The center of the cross (the place where opposites are reconciled) is open to show us that the cross, with all its burden and pain, is not an end in itself but a passageway or prelude to resurrection. We are invited to place our crosses within that open center so that God’s love can transform them into opportunities for resurrection and new life.

The corpus or image of the crucified Christ suspended in front of the cross is modeled after the treasured San Damiano Crucifix. In 1205 St. Francis of Assisi was praying before a similar crucifix in the little church of San Damiano when he heard Christ calling him to a life of service. Can we recognize this crucified Christ in the poor, suffering, and oppressed of our time and culture? Can we accept the challenge of responding? This image of self-emptying Love reminds us of our identity as disciples of Christ, people who love one another through lives of compassionate service.