Lift High the Cross
Malvern Minute

 

September 14, 2017 – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your Cross you have redeemed the world. Alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (3:13-17)

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.

Reflect: Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. The cross of Christ is our symbol of victory. To enter into the fullness of that victory, however, requires that we embrace the cross.  To claim the redemptive power of the cross means that we are willing to lay our burdens, our pain, our sin, at the foot of the cross. Only after the people of God admitted their sinfulness and their lack of trust in God did the bronze serpent bring healing to those who were afflicted with deadly snake bites. The cross is so much more powerful and significant in the history of salvation because it represents the love of God himself who was nailed to the cross and died so that we could be forgiven. As we celebrate this feast today, it reminds us that the cross is our sign of victory; it is our hope. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” Alleluia!

Questions: Do I honor the cross as the sign of my faith?  Do I look to Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross as his ultimate expression of love for me? Do I willingly lay my burdens, my limitations, my frustrations, and my sinfulness at the foot of the cross with the belief that Jesus welcomes me?

Pray: Loving God, you willed that your Only Begotten Son should undergo the Cross to save me, to save the human race. Give me a heart receptive to the abundant grace that you wish to impart upon me through the Cross.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

We should glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection, through whom we are saved and delivered.

This feast celebrates a double anniversary. In Jerusalem, Constantine erected a round church, the Anastasis, above the empty grave of Jesus, and a basilica, the Martyrium; in the square between the two churches, a shrine, Calvarium, marking the place of the crucifixion.  Dedicated in 335, they were destroyed by the Persians in 614. The two churches were rebuilt by Patriarch Modestus of Jerusalem c. 626, but were destroyed by the Muslims in 1009. The present church of the Holy Sepulcher, rebuilt by the Crusaders, was dedicated in 1149. Today also commemorates the discovery of the Lord’s cross by the empress, Saint Helena, in 320.

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ENCOUNTERING DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

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