September 14, 2014
This celebration always takes place yearly on September 14th; when Sunday falls on September 14, the Sunday Eucharist (Mass) celebration is that of the Exultation of the Holy Cross.
We all know the story of Moses leading the people out of their slavery in Egypt.
And now in this first reading, we hear of God's people complaining to Moses and asking why in the world they were brought out of Egypt to die in the desert.
When the going in the desert got rough for the people they began to deny that God would take care of them.
To help God's complaining people on their journey from slavery in Egypt, to convert and come to their senses, God allows them to be bitten and die. Now they are terrified and go to Moses since they have converted a little and want to return to God.
God tells Moses to mount the very thing that caused their death and so much fear, the serpent, on a pole and have the people look at it and they would not die.
Amazing isn't it.
The very thing that they were so fearful of, becomes the very object of their healing, their escape from death.
Paul writes his letter to a Christian community who know well that the cross is a sign to be feared, it is a sign of execution, painful execution, death.The cross was something that all were afraid of.
However, in this letter, St. Paul give us the image of Christ who was not afraid to undergo even death on the cross. Christ takes on what seems like weakness and rejection of our world, knowing that they lead to eternal life for all.
We, at our Baptism were to be the presence of Christ in the world. We are to pick up our cross daily and follow the Lord.
Saint John tells us that it is the cross, the suffering, struggles, and death that can lead us to eternal life.
Our struggles and difficulties can seem like a death that will end our happiness and our life.
We often reject our struggles and difficulties, our cross, thinking that nothing can come from it.
But we are shown through Jesus Christ, that our struggles, our crosses, are the way to internal life for us and for others.
What is your cross today?
Are we willing to see that our cross leads us to our healing just as the serpent mounted on a pole did in the first reading?
Or do we stick with the teachings of the world that teaches us to reject our cross, our sufferings and difficulties.
We know that we never ask or search for more struggles, more difficulties, e.g our cross. But without asking struggles and difficulties will always be a part of our Christian lives.
Every day we need to be able to identify the cross the Lord has asked us to carry and to follow him on that day.
Our prayer should be, "Lord Give me courage and help me to carry my cross today".
Here is the ending of a letter that I receive this week from a friend with many, many struggles. It gave me courage to carry my daily cross once again. I hope it is a help for you also.
She has been battling with MS for many years, her husband has Alheimer's disease and is in an institution and has recently fallen and injured himself...Can it get any worse!
...I'll close by saying it has been a good life, Father. The pain, loss of health, and heartache brought me to my knees, and caused me to run, to limp, to Jesus. I have fallen deeply in love with Him with every setback. At Christmas mass many years ago, in your homily you said, "You find Jesus in the mess." The mess you referred to was the dirty stable. I find Jesus quickly now in my messes. I am experienced, and know what to do. If you go deeply enough into the mess, you will find beauty. It's not possible to explain. Grace is a mysterious thing.