Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross
Malvern Minute

 

Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross

September 14, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Saint Mary Magdalen Parish, Media, PA

 

Book of Numbers 21:4b-9

Psalm 78:1bc-2, 34-35, 36-38

Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians 2:6-11

John 3:13-17

 

            The Christian tradition of celebrating the Holy Cross goes back to the fourth century Roman Emperor Constantine.  Having said that, have you ever wondered why the cross was chosen as the symbol for Christianity?  It was an “odd” choice from the very beginning.  To the Romans, the cross was an instrument of death and torture.  Islam chose the crescent moon and star, and Judaism had the Star of David.  Perhaps the early Church could have chosen another image to raise people’s minds to heaven such as the Star of Bethlehem.   From the very beginning, Christianity was associated with the Holy Spirit and an image of a dove would have made a good choice.  However, the truth is that Christianity chose its symbol because of what God the Father chose to do with one particular cross.  God changed the cross from a sign of death, and defeat, and grief, to a sign of hope, and promise, and expectation!  Today, we stand proudly with the cross as our symbol, because God is NOT done bringing resurrection to His people.

Why then is the Cross the symbol of our Faith?  Why is the Cross so important to Christianity, and most especially to Catholic Christianity?  It is because the Cross is essential to the “story.”  You can never talk about Christ, or the Gospel, or the Kingdom of Heaven without talking about the Cross.  Our Lord Jesus Himself tells us that each of us must pick up our crosses and follow Him.  “The Cross is Christianity!”  As Christians we keep the Cross of Christ in front of us always.   We would never want to forget what Jesus has done for us on that first Cross. 

Jesus has always taught the “truth.”  We know that our lives will always have crosses that we much bear.  Being a Christian doesn’t get us out of crosses, instead, just the opposite.  Being a Christian promises us our crosses.  Here is the good news; by the Cross of Jesus and by our individual crosses, God is actually saving us.  Our salvation is being achieved by our picking up our crosses, both large and small, and following the teaching of our Risen Lord.  And that is really GOOD NEWS!

Question of the Day:  How will you bear your individual crosses as you move closer to the Kingdom of God?

Prayer:  Today, and every day, we pray that the Triumph of the Cross of Christ will be Exalted in our hearts and in the hearts of the whole world.  Amen.

Prosit

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