Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Scriptural 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:
On this day we celebrate the cross of Christ. It was through his cross, through his sufferings that we are saved. Though we have heard over and over that God can and will bring good out of the sufferings we endure if we keep trust in him, we still find ourselves complaining and whining and cursing when we so much as stub a toe or discover a new wrinkle on our face.
Today we find the Jews in the desert complaining to God and Moses about the food. “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food to eat?” So God tried to satisfy them by supplying manna every morning, skies full of quail during the day, and water from rocks — more than enough and all free of charge. What more could one want? But their bellyaching and whining persisted, “We are disgusted with this wretched food.”
Though there are those who go with insufficient nourishment in our country, the majority of Americans get plenty to eat. Yet, one of our biggest complaints is the food. Not necessarily the lack of it, but the preparation and taste. The biggest complaints are heard in jails, hospitals, nursing homes, and boarding schools. You should have gotten a taste of what was served to us in the seminary. More than once I wished I were a Jew in the desert sitting down to a tasty meal of roasted quail and a side order of manna. How many times do family members complain about what the cook of the house serves? The important thing is that we get nourishing meals; it is not necessary we get our gourmet palates satisfied every time we go to the plate with knife and fork in hand.
This is the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. Let us stop griping, offer up what we find unpleasant, and trust God to work things out for us in a heavenly future. Meanwhile, try not to choke on the lousy food.