Sep 14 – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
The feast was celebrated in Rome before the end of the 7th century. Its purpose is to commemorate the recovering of that portion of the Holy Cross which was preserved at Jerusalem, and which had fallen into the hands of the Persians. Emperor Heraclius recovered this precious relic and brought it back to Jerusalem on 3 May 629.
- Patron Saints Index
On the way through the wilderness the people lost patience. They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? For there is neither bread nor water here; we are sick of this unsatisfying food.’
At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel. The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, ‘Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.’ So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
‘No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who came down from heaven,
the Son of Man who is in heaven;
and the Son of Man must be lifted up
as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.’
For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.’
Symbols can carry great significance for human beings. Some of them remind us of a significant event or person in our lives which we want to hold closer to us. Even in the secular world, they have memorials, plaques and statues made so that we commemorate important events which happened in the history of the company or the country. Today’s Feast is more than just a symbolic memory for the Cross represents the central focus of our whole Christian life.
The Cross represents the sacrifice which Jesus Christ made for us because we have fallen into sin. Through the Cross, we have a chance to open the gates of heaven which was closed due to Original Sin. An instrument of torture has now become the sign where all of us can profess our belief in the Lord Jesus.
Sometimes I take the Cross for granted and think that everything will be ok. However, I am always reminded that whilst the war against sin has been won, the daily battle against sin is still present. God has put forth before me various struggles which I have to encounter and in doing so, the growth in my Christian journey is deepened.
Let us take some time today to reflect on the Cross and what it signifies in our own lives. How do we live the message of the Cross, which is one of sacrifice and love and let it triumph over all our sins, weaknesses and temptations?
(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: We adore you O Christ and we bless you because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who continue to proclaim the Word of God despite facing tremendous difficulty.