FEAST OF THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS
Psalter: Proper / (Red)
Ps 78:1bc-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38
Do not forget the works of the Lord!
1st Reading: Num 21:4b-9
From Mount Hor they set out by the Red Sea road to go around the land of Edom. The people were discouraged by the journey and began to complain against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is neither bread nor water here and we are disgusted with this tasteless manna.“
Yahweh then sent fiery serpents against them. They bit the people and many of the Israelites died. Then the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, speaking against Yahweh and against you. Plead with Yahweh to take the serpents away.“
Moses pleaded for the people and Yahweh said to him, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a standard; whoever has been bitten and then looks at it shall live.“
So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a standard. Whenever a man was bitten, he looked towards the bronze serpent and he lived.
2nd Reading: Phil 2:6-11
Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped,
but emptied himself, taking on the nature of a servant, made in human likeness, and, in his appearance, found, as a man,
He humbled himself by being obedient, to death, death on the cross.
That is why God exalted him and gave him the name which outshines all names,
so, that, at the name of Jesus all knees should bend
in heaven, on earth and among the dead,
and all tongues proclaim, that Christ Jesus is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Gospel: Jn 3:13-17
No one has ever gone up to heaven except the one who came from heaven, the Son of Man.
As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
Yes, God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but may have eternal life. God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world; instead, through him the world is to be saved.
The feast of the Exaltation of the Cross marks the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 335 CE. On this feast, we are called upon to meditate on the salvific mystery of the Cross. The Israelites who were bitten by poisonous snakes looked up to the metal image of the fiery serpent on the standard and lived. Similarly, anyone bitten by the poisonous snakes of sin, who looks up to the living Christ on the Cross, shall not die, but live. It is God‘s will that everyone shall be saved. But we have the freedom of choice to look toward the Cross or away from it. The choice is ours; so are the consequences.
Take a few minutes today to look at a cross and meditate on it. Keep gazing. What do you find there? Who is there? What happens to you as you keep gazing?
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Biblical Texts are taken from Christian Community Bible, Catholic Pastoral Edition (57th Edition) The New English Translation for the ROMAN MISSAL
With permission from the EPISCOPAL COMMISION ON LITURGY of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
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