Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross - Bear the Cross cheerfully and it will bear you.

“To deny one's self, to take up the cross, denotes something immeasurably grander than self-imposed penance or rigid conformity to a divine statute. It is the surrender of self to an ennobling work, an absolute subordination of personal advantages and of personal pleasures for the sake of truth and the welfare of others and a willing acceptance of every disability which their interests may entail.” - GEORGE HORACE LORIMER: American editor and writer (1868 - 1937)

Gospel text (Jn 3:13-17): Jesus said to Nicodemus, «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».

Today’s feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and the text from the Gospel passage, “for God so loved the world that He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but have eternal life,” puts us at the very center of our life of faith in Jesus. It doesn’t get any simpler: we are saved by God’s goodness in the person of His Son Jesus the Christ.

But with so many issues of our faith life that we describe as simple, the simplicity masks some of the difficulties that we have in accepting the tremendous love of God for us. In one sense it is all there – we are saved by the cross and resurrection of Jesus, but the realization of that wondrous reality takes us a lifetime to receive.

The profound reality of God’s love in the person of Jesus is our very reason to be as Christians. We are blessed beyond any measure by that love. It is the very cornerstone of our faith in God and in Christ.

My prayer for us all is that as we contemplate that marvelous goodness of God and Jesus’ words recorded in John’s gospel each day of our lives. So that we can understand it, yes, but more specially that we may joyfully live it because indeed God does love the world and us so that we have eternal life, the ultimate gift of God to you and me. And that the cross that we live each of our days will link us to Jesus’ own life, death and resurrection.

Help us then, Lord, to be so united with the paschal mystery of Jesus, that through Him the world can become a better place to dwell. You promise us much for this life and for our eternal presence with You; may we live into that promise each day

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