14 September 2019. Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross
Reflection (Sem. Rodel D.O. Aclan)
One time, my sister was asked, “Why do Catholics always make the sign of the cross? Jesus was already resurrected and not crucified anymore, so the cross already served its purpose”. She relayed this question to me, and as a student of theology, I answered using what I have learned and understood in my theology classes.
Reflecting on today’s liturgical celebration of The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, I realize the immense impact of the cross in my life. My frequent gesture of sign of the cross does not only manifest the beginning and ending of my prayer or a shield from harm or bad luck. The cross most importantly, the cross reminds me of the love of God. This is how God is willing to give just to save me. The Cross brings me to the very scene in the Calvary, where the summit of God’s love was shown to the world and where the works of redemption was fulfilled and sealed by the Blood of Christ.
We exalt the cross not for its symbol of brutality, death, and defeat. It is because of the love of the One who was Crucified there, who was willing to do such a great sacrifice, by enduring pain and accepting humiliation. It was all because He, “did not come to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him”. The cross has become the throne of mercy and salvation that even until now a mere glance to it, will evoke repentance, conversion and healing to those who are looking at the Crucified One.
I remember what our retreat master told me when I was undergoing the 30- day retreat. “Run to the foot of the Cross”. Whenever I encounter trials or challenges in my seminary formation and even concerns outside the seminary and whenever things became too heavy for me to carry, I run to the foot of the Cross and allow Christ to share my yoke.
The Gospel Today
John 3: 13 – 17
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.