This is Saint Andrew’s Cross.
Legend has it that Andrew told his executioners that he was not worthy to be crucified on the same cross style as Jesus, and persuaded them to alter the shape.
Today is the Feast Day of Saint Andrew, the first apostle to be called by Jesus.
He is the patron saint of Scotland, Russia and Greece,
places known for rebellions and revolutions.
Andres Bonifacio, the leader of the Philippine Revolution, was named after him.
Followers of Christ have often been seen as rebels and revolutionaries.
A serious reading of the gospels will show that the teachings of Christ are radical, counter-cultural and subversive of the existing order.
He once declared: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth.
I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
In my youth, full of idealism and fired with romantic enthusiasm,
I was enamored by Christ the rebel, the revolutionary.
When I was active in the corporate world and even in the academe,
most everyone I knew aspired to be a leader including myself.
Today, in my old age, I struggle to keep pace with this same Jesus
as I try to heed his call to follow him.
Today I am more focused on leaving everything and being a good follower.
And it is so difficult to leave everything behind, specially the past.
Today, I wish for my life to be gentler, kinder, more tender and more loving;
but I am also still inspired by the Christ who, in righteous anger,
cleared the temple of those who would desecrate the place,
the same Christ who willingly laid down his life for his friends.