WHEN I AM LIFTED UP, THEN I WILL DRAW ALL MEN TO MYSELF (John 12:23)

FEASTfb_img_1473793016552 OF THE EXALTATION OF THE CROSS (14 Sept 2018)

Num 21:4b-9; Psalm 78:1-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38 (R.v.7b); Phil 2:6-11; John 3:13-17

WHEN I AM LIFTED UP, THEN I WILL DRAW ALL MEN TO MYSELF (John 12:23)

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

Jesus revealed his identity as the Suffering Messiah and insists that everyone who wishes to follow him must carry his own cross and come after him. We are confident to embrace that cross because he had already transformed it into a way to glory.

The cross was indeed a symbol of shame in the Roman Empire but Jesus transformed it into a sign of victory. It was the means through which Christ won the victory over the powers of evil.

Today, the Church celebrates that wood of the Cross. Many people would think that the Church must be crazy to do this. Why not? St Paul testified that, The message of the cross is folly for those who are on the way to ruin, but for those of us who are on the road to salvation, it is the power of God (1 Cor 1:18). May God never allow us to be among those who despise the cross and so walking on the road to ruin. Amen.

The readings of today provide us with the foundation and the reasons why the celebration is important. In the First Reading, Moses molded and raised the bronze fiery serpent on a stake and it became a channel for their healing from sins and death. Jesus, in the Gospel personalized that scene and used it to prophesy the way he was going to die  on the Cross. It was through that means that the world would come to be healed and saved.

The Psalmist today encourages us saying, Never forget the deeds of the Lord (Psalm 78:7). Through the celebration, Jesus asks us this important question, “This I did for you; what have you done for me?” St. Paul had told us, “Do not seek your own interest, but rather that of others. The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had” (Phil 2:4-5).

Remember he requested of us, “Go, therefore, and make disciples from all nations” (Matt 28:19). To be able to do this well, he recommended that we should carry our cross and follow him (cf. Matt 16:24). The cross includes different challenges and difficulties we may encounter in following him. But we should never get wearied because he is ever ready to make our crosses lighter for us to carry (cf. Matt 11:28-30).

I pray that Christ’s victory on the cross may also be our victory against principalities and powers of the evil one that wage wars against us. And may our mouth be filled with testimonies at all times and especially at the end of our lives. Amen

Peace be with you.

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