Pastor's Desk: Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Cross
Welcome everyone. Today’s Solemnity, always celebrated on the 14th September, is a call to remember that Jesus brings healing, redemption and love into our lives. To those uninitiated in Christianity, a Cross shows a man impaled on wood; a form of torture. And that of course is what it was; the most painful and slow death used in the Roman Empire and reserved for the lowest of the low. But for us Christians, we see the Cross as THE symbol of love and forgiveness.
The context is set very well by today’s First Reading which tells the Jewish folktale of how the people, wandering in the wilderness, lost faith and suffered bites from the poisonous snakes. To heal them, Moses fashions a serpent made of bronze and hoists it on a stick. Merely by raising their eyes to the bronze serpent brought healing. Jesus hoisted on the wood of the Cross is the means of our healing. As John 3:16 of today’s gospel says,
” God loved the world so much
that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.”
In that one sentence the essence of our Christian Faith is explained. So the next time you bless yourself, or wear a cross on a chain, or look at a crucifix, remember you are celebrating a symbol of God’s love for you. Symbols of love are always to be treasured.