In most churches, the crucifix is veiled from the fifth Sunday of Lent until Easter Vigil. Many schools of thought surround what the veil signifies but I would like to share what it means to me.
Let’s first go to when the Holy Spirit drove Jesus into the desert for 40 days, where he was faced with Satan’s temptations. He had the word of God for protection, and Satan failed. My journey into the desert of temptation lasted for more than 40 days; it lasted decades. I didn’t have a relationship with God, so I succumbed to all types of temptation, hurting those I loved and losing the respect of my family, friends, and coworkers.
Fortunately, although I abandoned God, He did not abandon me. He was with me all along; I was just too self-absorbed to listen. Then came the morning in 1997 when I held a bottle of pills in one hand and a beer to wash them down in the other. “Something” compelled me to pick up the phone and ask for help, and for once, I listened. I was admitted psychiatric hospital and then to alcohol rehab.
When I walk into the church and see the veiled crucifix, it reminds me of God’s infinite love and mercy. Easter Vigil signifies how God lifted the veil of sin that darkened my soul, exposing it to His light.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved. him. (John 3:16-17)