First Reading: Nm 21:4b-9; Psalm: 78. R. v. 7b; Second Reading: Phil 2:6-11; Gospel: Jn 3:13-17



The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

The story of Jesus culminated in his death on the cross. From the secular analysis, that was the end of him, his gospel story, and his popularity. In fact, the manner of his death was so shameful that it was best to keep quiet about it than to remember or discuss it. This was because the cross was customarily a platform for the execution of criminals. But a new story was written when Jesus died on the cross. His executioners buried him. Some of them got converted and several other people came to believe in him. If Jesus hadn’t died and resurrected, perhaps these good news wouldn’t have happened.

Jesus’ exaltation on the cross was our exaltation from sin to holiness, pain to joy, and injury to healing. We read in the first reading how the rebellious Israelites were healed from poisonous snake bites when they looked at the bronze serpent erected by Moses in the wilderness. The bronze serpent foreshadowed Christ who was raised on the cross to bring healing to the rebellious world disfigured by sin. So, Christ’s death on the cross was in reality not a thing of shame but something of joy to be celebrated.

The story of the cross reminds us that when we undergo any painful experience for the sake of good, we shall definitely be rewarded here on earth or in the world beyond. The feast of the exaltation of the cross reveals how God turned a symbol of shame to a symbol of fame; how God revealed the strength of his power when he chose to be weak. The cross of Christ has become our sign of victory today for we bless ourselves with the sign of the cross whenever we sign ourselves. We can take courage and inspiration from the cross of Christ to be hopeful in the blessings of endurance when we patiently bear the little crosses that come our way. If we believed in the suffering we undergo for the sake of Christ, we shall also be exalted by God.  


Lord Jesus, grant us the grace to bear the daily crosses that come our way that we may receive the reward of your blessings. Amen.

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