Dedication of the Millennium Cross, Westminster cathedral

 One of the most enduring legacies that Cardinal Basil Hume gave to our society was the message that we have here no abiding city. The things of this world are not the end. How appropriate, then in the centre of this great city today there should now stand a cross that invites us to reflect that our life's pilgrimage does indeed take us beyond death to God. The Psalmist says: Oh Lord turn your ear to my cry; do not be deaf to my tears; in your house I am a passing guest, a pilgrim, like all my fathers. Today we live in a constant rush, with too little time to pause and ponder. We easily become so immersed in our work or distracted by trifles that we no longer see the great road on which we all walk. On that road the Cross of Christ is the true signpost. Here Christ reveals himself as the Way, the Truth and the Life which explains both sides of our existence, the sad as well as the happy. The cross that we have today is in no small part due to the generosity of many people. The cross has dominated the landscape of this country since the arrival of the first Christians. Think of the great Celtic crosses of the North. In our own city there is Waltham Cross, Charing Cross. Whenever people have wished to commemorate their faith and the hope in God's providence it is the sign of the cross people have so often turned to. How fitting it is that we who are crossing the threshold of the third millennium should mark the moment with a cross. Jesus says: "If you would be my disciple come take up your cross and follow me." That is the message of what life holds for all who seek truth and goodness. The cross stands for the universal experience of suffering. But it tells too that pain and sin are not the last word. On the cross we find the outstretched arms of Jesus Christ. And it is only by coming near to Him on the cross in facing what we fear most that we discover who we truly are and find healing and hope. This Jubilee Cross which we also dedicate to the memory of Cardinal Basil Hume is for us a fitting reminder of our destiny and at what price it was won. If Cardinal Hume had wanted any fitting symbol for the new millennium it would surely be this one - the sign of and the mystery of the cross.

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