Audio Readings September 14, 2014 The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Philippians 2:6-11;Numbers 21:4-9; Psalm 78:1-2, 34-38; John 3:13-17

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

At the name of Jesus every knee should bend. (Philippians 2:10)

In a.d. 326, St. Helena, the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine, discovered the true cross of Jesus near the site that generations had venerated as the Mount of Crucifixion. Upon discovering the cross, everyone fell to their knees and cried out, “Lord, have mercy!” A church was built on the site—the Church of the Holy Sepulcher—and the cross was placed in a prominent position within the building. The church was consecrated on September 13, 335, and the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross was celebrated annually on the following day, September 14.

About three hundred years later, the cross was taken as plunder by the Persian emperor Khosrau II but was reclaimed fourteen years later by the Roman emperor Heraclius, who brought it to Constantinople where it was once again triumphantly exalted.

This short history lesson has some resemblance to the way we live out our faith. For instance, when we see the glory of the cross and the sacrifice Jesus made for us, we rejoice. With grateful hearts we say, “Lord, I love you; have mercy on me.” But then we lose sight of this gift of salvation. Without even realizing it, we let the cross get buried underneath our many priorities and responsibilities.

Then, when we are touched, maybe by a tragic event, by a book we read, or by a moving homily at Mass, we “excavate” the cross and exalt it once more. We give it a place of prominence in the sanctuary of our hearts. But then we lose our focus and let our guard down. A stronger foe conquers us and steals the joy of the cross from us. Finally, with newfound determination we take the cross back and we say once more, “Jesus, I exalt your cross. I make it my foundation. Lord, have mercy on me!”

May we all do our best to exalt the cross and make it the first foundation of our lives!

“Lord, as I lift up the cross, I ask you to have mercy on me.”~WAU

 

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About gemdk

I am a cradle Catholic who made my first Holy Communion over 5o years ago at All Saints Catholic Church in Houston,TX in 1961. Went to Mass every Sunday as a child and teen and then young adult. Fell away for about 12 years in the late 80's, early 90's and then realized what was missing in my life was my Catholic upbringing and faith. Found my home at Sacred Heart in Crosby. Filling up the void I had for those 12 years in more ways than I can imagine, loving every minute of it. But this blog is not about me as much as it is for me and anyone who wants/needs to hear the word of God. I'm merely the instrument God uses to post the readings.
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