Exaltation of the Holy Cross

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Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Numbers 21:4-9; Philippians 2:6-11; John 3:13-17

We look at the cross and we remember how much Jesus suffered.  It is a natural reaction, because the cross was an instrument of humiliation, torture and execution.  It is a sign of pain.

Yet our scriptures today invite us to see the cross as something more:  a sign of love, particularly God’s love for us and for the world.  When God had Moses mount a bronze serpent on a pole, he gave his people a way out of their suffering.  It was a sign of God’s compassion. 

In the cross, God did something even greater:  God himself, in Jesus Christ, mounted the pole.  It was the ultimate sign of God’s love.  It was a love that began in the mystery of the incarnation, when God became one of us.  It continued in the ministry of Jesus, who emptied himself and showed us what it means to be fully human.  It culminated in his death and resurrection.

We remember that love in this Eucharist, and we ask God for the grace to be instruments of that love today and always, wherever we are. +