The Glory of the Cross A journey through Holy Week and Easter

‘The Glory of the Cross’ by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, is a reflective journey through the events of Holy Week and Easter, which explores the profound significance of these events for us today. Timothy Radcliffe OP describes the book as ‘a compelling account of the great drama of our faith, taking us from the fickle enthusiasm of Palm Sunday, through the desolation of the cross to the serene joy of Easter Day.’

Drawing on passages from the Gospels of Luke and John, Corinthians, Philippians and Isaiah – with reference to Exodus, Revelation, Hebrews, Acts and Colossians – the Cardinal offers 12 reflections and short prayers for the journey through Holy Week to Easter Sunday:

Part One: Water from the Rock (Palm Sunday):

  • 1. Jesus enters the city 2. Looking up to Jesus 3. Following Jesus

Part Two: Light from darkness (Maundy Thursday):

  • 4. Jesus washes the disciples’ feet 5. This is my body 6. Love one another

Part Three: True God from True God (Good Friday):

  • 7. Jesus gives his life 8. The loving sacrifice 9. The glorious victory

Part Four: Life from death (Easter Sunday):

  • 10. Jesus is risen! 11. The one who goes before 12. The new creation

‘Easter is a great festival of human life, in which we celebrate the gift of Christ conquering corruption and death. This Easter gift is no fleeting moment, but a radically new creation: a new horizon by which to set our course; a new way of life for us to pursue; a new grace and power by which we can live.’

Cardinal Nichols writes:

In this book, I invite you to join me on a pilgrimage, as together we accompany the Lord on his journey through suffering, death and resurrection. As we walk together on this pilgrimage, there is an image I would like you to keep in mind. It is a vivid image, and it comes to us from the Old Testament Book of Numbers, which tells us how the Israelites complained to Moses in the wilderness because they could find no water… Life-giving water came from the rock face as a gift of God, a gift that not only saved the people and their cattle from the thirst that tormented them, but also gave them hope and promise for the rest of their journey. In our lives, we too come up against many rock faces. But we shall see how the promise of Jesus, through the action of the Holy Spirit, can break open each solid rock that we face so that it becomes a spring of living water. This is the Easter mystery, the story of our salvation, which we enter, celebrate, enact and receive again each year in Holy Week.’    

About the author

Born in Liverpool in 1945, Vincent Nichols studied for the priesthood in Rome. He was ordained in 1969 for the Archdiocese of Liverpool and then served parishes in Wigan and Toxteth. In 1992, he became an auxiliary bishop to Westminster and then Archbishop of Birmingham in 2000. In 2009, he was installed as the eleventh Archbishop of Westminster and welcomed Pope Benedict during the papal visit to the UK in 2010. On 22 February 2014, he was created Cardinal by Pope Francis. In addition to being patron of a number of Catholic charities, Cardinal Nichols is acknowledged as a strong campaigner for the vulnerable in society and a leading advocate for interfaith cooperation and integration. He is also a keen, lifelong fan of Liverpool Football Club.

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