Today’s Gospel: John 3:13-17 – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
“Lift high the cross! The Love of Christ proclaim!”
Today we commemorate the finding of the True Cross by St. Helena in 320, and also the dedication of a shrine above the site of the Crucifixion by Constantine in 335.
When you stop to think about it, it is rather absurd that Christians the world over identify themselves with the cross. 2,000 years ago, the cross was nothing more but a Roman torture device. Now here we are posting this torture device on our buildings, hanging it around our necks, and venerating it on Good Friday.
Christ specifically chose the cross because it was the ultimate sign of His love for us. Completely undignified, shameful, painful beyond description, but He willingly endured that for YOU! The great triumph of Christ wasn’t a military victory, an earthly coronation, but His being lifted up on the Cross in agony as a sign of love and redemption to the whole of creation.
There’s a story of a priest who preached a whole homily just by pointing to the cross. Nothing else was needed, because the Cross contained the whole mission and Gospel of Christ. The Cross was the whole reason Christ came: to redeem us by His love. “For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” The Cross is the perfect example of how we are meant to live as disciples of Christ, ready to endure and give anything for our neighbor.
We’re all given our own version of the Cross. Some of us maybe more than others. Just as through the Cross of Christ, the world was saved, Christ gives us the opportunity to help sanctify the world by bearing our own crosses as He did, with submission, trust, and love.
How willing am I to follow Christ’s example of the Cross and make sacrifices, big and small, for those I love?
Lord God, help me grow in devotion to Your Cross – not only as a sign of Your love, but also as the perfect example of Your mission and message to the World. May I be willing to follow that example so I can more perfectly love Your children.
Copyright 2018 Hilary Thompson
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