Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Scripture Readings: Numbers 21: 4b-9; Psalm 78:1bc-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38
Philippians 2:6-11; John 3: 13-17
My dear encountered couples:
Do you ever take time out to meditate on Christ on the Cross? That is what today’s feast is encouraging us to do.
We find Jesus reminding Nicodemus of the Jewish people in the desert who were cured of their poisonous snake bites by looking with faith at a serpent made out of bronze that God commanded Moses to make.
“Make a serpent,” God told him, “mount it on a pole, and if anyone who has been bitten looks at it, he will recover.” Sounds a lot like the pagans used to do, right? Make an image of something and then look to it to save them from whatever. That’s what some people think of our crucifixes and statues - something other than God that we are worshiping.
As it was the true God the Jews were relying on to cure them of their snake bites when they looked upon the bronze serpent, it is the Son of the true God we rely upon to save us from our sins when we look at him upon the cross. “We only have an empty cross in our churches,” a protestant lady said, “the Easter or resurrection cross. But I understand why Catholics have Christ on the cross in their churches."
"One day I picked up a picture of a crucifix," she went on to say. "And as I looked at it I began to realize the sufferings Jesus must have gone through for me. As I became more aware of his love for me I found myself experiencing love for him. Now I often take time to look at Christ on his cross. It makes me feel closer to him.”
May this feast of the Holy Cross encourage us to take time out and do some of that same kind of looking and thinking!