THEME: WHEN I AM LIFTED UP, I SHALL DRAW ALL MEN TO MYSELF
Have you ever wondered why the cross is the symbol for Christianity? It was an odd choice from the very beginning. To the Romans, the cross was an instrument of death and torture. The cross brought back lots of bad memories of the very worst that the Romans had been. We use it as our symbol because of what God chose to do with that cross. God changed the cross from a sign of death, and defeat, and grief, to sign of hope, and promise, and expectation! Today, we stand proudly with the cross as our symbol, because God is NOT done bringing resurrection to His people. The power of the Cross continues even today! This is the essence of the Feast. What then is the feast?
The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, celebrated every year on September 14, recalls three events:
1. The finding of the True Cross by Saint Helena.
2. The dedication of churches built by Constantine on the site of the Holy Sepulchre and Mount Calvary.
3. The restoration of the True Cross to Jerusalem in AD 629 by the Byzantine emperor Heraclius, after it had fallen into the hands of the Persian Emperor Chosroes II in the AD 614 Sasanian conquest of Jerusalem.
The focal point of the celebration however is, THE CROSS AS THE INSTRUMENT OF SALVATION. Scripture is clear about this in the text of the second reading, it’s in Christ’s humility and obedience even to death on the Cross that God raised him to the height and conferred on him the name which is above every other name… (cf. Phil. 2:1-10). The greatest glory of God was revealed at the Cross, because there his undying and boundless love for sinful man was clearly demonstrated. There too, God’s message is clear, true greatness is not in living for oneself but for others.
Rivers do not drink their own water; trees do not eat their own fruit; the sun does not shine on itself and flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves. Living for others is a rule of nature. We are all born to help each other. No matter how difficult it is…Life is good when you are happy; but much better when others are happy because of you.
We exalt the Cross today to constantly remind ourselves that we must live for one another. We must live to make others happy no matter the cost. Christ our Lord has given us an example, we all must follow.
PRAYER: Help us, Lord, to live for others. Amen!
GOOD MORNING AND HAPPY NEW WEEK!