Sunday September 14, 2014
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Normally, this feast falls within the week, but this year, we celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in place of the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time. This will make for another uncommon Sunday when we see the red vestments.
This week’s first readings from the book of Numbers is chosen because it is later referenced in the Gospel. This is a reflection of the Hebrew’s time in the desert. The heat and struggles where getting to their heads, and suddenly the people even began to wonder why Moses had led them out of slavery from Egypt. The Lord them reminds them how bad it could be through the dangerous snakes, but He doesn’t allow it without the hope of salvation. As odd as it may seem, the golden serpent then becomes a symbol of how we can look upon a symbol of our salvation. We’re also quick to forget how much the Lord has done for us, but sacred images can be a wonderful tool and reminder and pointer toward the source of our faith.
Psalm 78:1BC-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38
R. (see 7b) Do not forget the works of the Lord!
This week’s second reading from St Paul’s letter to the Philippians is one of the most popular verses from this letter. A little known fact though is that St Paul is likely quoting an ancient hymn from the early Church. This passage is the message of the Gospel distilled down to a few points. Our Lord was humble and loving enough to forsake His own divinity to die under the pain and suffering of the cross so that The Father could raise Him as the model and way for us.
There is power in the name of Jesus. A power that cannot be denied and that to this day has shown itself in our lives, even when we forget or overlook the mercy shown to us.
This week’s Gospel from St John is a classic, and certainly one that all Christians should know by heart. Jesus compares His cross to the symbol of the serpent in the desert. Our gaze upon His cross also has the power of reminding us that God so loved the world that He would give His only Son.
Sometimes, we Catholics are good at focusing on the guilt and shame we feel for our unworthiness of His mercy and love, but the last verse today should be our hope. God didn’t send His Son for the sake of condemnation, but in the Hope that we would choose Him and find salvation through Jesus. Keep hope.
A reflection from Bishop Vásquez
- Jesus saved us by his death on the cross. Think about the infinite love it must take to make such a sacrifice. Whom do you love enough to make a sacrifice? Whom should you love to make a sacrifice?
Theme song Ignite – Soundwave soundwave.cc Background Music This Week