Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. 

"Jesus said to Nicodemus:

“No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. 

"And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

"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 through him.” (John 3: 13 - 17). 

Thursday 14th September 2023 in the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time is the great feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

Why celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross?

#1 There is a divine necessity for the Son of Man to be lifted up on the Cross in order to save mankind. 

#2 The crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus transformed the Cross into a true sign of salvation. The Cross transformed our trials into possibilities of triumphs and testimonies. 

#3  "Christ crucified is thus "the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." It is in Christ's Resurrection and exaltation that the Father has shown forth "the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe" (CCC 272)

#4. "It is suffering, more than anything else, which clears the way for the grace which transforms human souls. Suffering, more than anything else, makes present in the history of humanity the powers of the Redemption." (ON the Christian Meaning of Suffering - Salvifici Doloris #27). 

#5. We exalt the cross whenever we embrace our trials and tribulations and understand that God's holy will is the means of peace and joy in our lives. 

The Cross has become a synonym for the trials of life. Jesus says: "If you want to follow Me, pick up your own cross and follow Me." 

Hence we find plastic cross, gold cross, silver cross, wooden cross, etc. We find crosses in homes, cars, schools, hospitals, churches, cemeteries.

We find crosses in every country in the world. The ubiquitous presence of the Cross everywhere is significant and providential. It signifies that grace and mercy are everywhere we accept trials and situations we can not avoid.

We are baptized with the sign of the Cross: "In the Name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit." This reminds us of the Trinitarian character of our faith.

As the catechumens are reminded in the RCIA Rite of Acceptance,  embracing our cross is embracing the will of God. It is the most assured route to sanctity and the good life. The will of God is our shalom, our peace. Peace is the first and greatest gift of salvation.

"Father, in Your will is our peace." 

Man has always rejected the Cross as we see in the first Reading (Numbers 21: 4b - 9).

"With their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!” (Numbers 21: 4 - 5).

If like Jesus, we humble ourselves under the mighty hands of God and accept our crosses, in the fullness of time, God will lift us up. (Cf 1 Peter 5: 6).

Jesus came to undo the disobedience of Adam and Eve by embracing the prescribed means of salvation by the Father.

"When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself, says the Lord." (John 12: 32)

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your Cross you have redeemed the world.

September is the month we celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. It is also the month the Church honors the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows obtain for us  mercies from her Crucified Son Jesus

For Prayers of Consecration to the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Mary, Litany, Promises of Mary to those who say the Holy Rosary, etc click the link below:

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