Monday, September 14, 2015

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14)

The Holy Cross of Christ is the universal symbol that identifies us as Christians.  In the most recent unrest in the Middle East, a radical Islamic group even posted a banner saying, 
Those who worship the Cross must know they may not insult Mohammad.”  
It is interesting that they should choose those words “…worship the Cross.”  It just shows how powerfully the instrument of our Lord’s execution has been impressed upon the world as a symbol of our identity.
Obviously, they do not understand our devotion to the Cross or our faith.  We certainly do not “Worship the Cross” any more than the Islamists worship the crescent moon.  But we make that sign on our bodies when we pray and we are constantly reminded of our Lord and Savior who, through this instrument, suffered, died, and in dying brought us all salvation. 
In the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we remember the recovery by the Church of relics of the True Cross. Historically, this feast was celebrated in Rome before the end of the 7th century to commemorate the recovery 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, May 3, 629.
More important than the relics, however, is what the Cross of Christ means to each one of us.  It recalls the great kenosis – how Jesus emptied himself and poured out his life for us in a humiliating scene of pubic derision.  It recalls how, even knowing his fate as we hear in John’s Gospel, the Lord accepted God’s plan and became the healing sacrifice that saved all of God’s adopted sons and daughters.  It recalls that each day, in the Eucharistic Sacrifice at Holy Mass, his promise of salvation is reiterated and demonstrated as he offers his Body and Blood for our sins.
No, we do not Worship the Cross.  But we proudly embrace it, wearing it with both pride and humility since upon it hung the one whose  
“…name is above every name and at whose name every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.”
 
 Christian typological exegesis perceives in the bronze serpent an image of the cross itself, which was lifted up in the desert that the Father might draw all things to himself through the death of his Son.  


Note to my CIA and SWAT: You are learning Christian typological exegesis at almost every meeting. Isn't that cool?
What's typological?  the study of typology
What's typology?    (You know this word)
  1. the study and interpretation of types and symbols, originally (especially) in the Bible.  (noun)
What's exegesis?  

1 comment:

Cathy Keller said...

Thank you! Have a grand day!

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