Sunday, September 14, 2014

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross - Today's Mass Readings - September 14, 2014 with Reflection

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

1ST READING - Numbers 21:4-9
With their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!” In punishment the Lord sent among the people seraph serpents, which bit the people so that many of them died. Then the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned in complaining against the Lord and you. Pray the Lord to take the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people, and the Lord said to Moses, “Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if any who has been bitten looks at it, they will live.” Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

P S A L M - Psalm 78:1-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38
R: Do not forget the works of the Lord!
Hearken, my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable, I will utter mysteries from of old. (R) 34 While he slew them they sought him and inquired after God again, 35 remembering that God was their rock and the Most High God, their redeemer. (R) 36 But they flattered him with their mouths and lied to him with their tongues, 37 though their hearts were not steadfast toward him, nor were they faithful to his covenant. (R) 38 But he, being merciful, forgave their sin and destroyed them not; often he turned back his anger and let none of his wrath be roused. (R)

2ND READING - Philippians 2:6-11
Brothers and sisters: Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. 7Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. 9Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your Cross you have redeemed the world.

John 3:13-17
13 Jesus said to Nicodemus: “No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” 16 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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.



If non-Christians would hear the name of today’s feast, they would shake their heads in bewilderment. After all, the cross was the instrument the Romans used for the most shameful death they could inflict on a criminal. No Roman citizen, even the worst criminal, could be crucified. It was too shameful for a Roman.

       No wonder that in the first centuries, the Christians did not use the cross as the symbol of their religion. Once the practice of crucifixion had been abolished and Emperor Constantine had claimed that he won a victory with the sign of the cross, the shameful instrument became the sign of victory. After all, there on the cross, Jesus had defeated sin, Satan and death.

       Today, we find crucifixes not only in churches but also in the homes of Catholics. Many young people wear a cross around their necks, more often as a decoration than as a profession of faith in Christ crucified.

       In many churches, the Risen Christ dominates the assembly, a Christ without the cross. Of course, His resurrection is the foundation of our faith, but without the cross there would be no resurrection.

       In his very first homily after his election, Pope Francis said something very important: “When we journey without the cross, when we build without the cross and when we confess a Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord: we are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord. I would like for us all, after these days of grace, to have courage, precisely the courage, to walk in the Lord’s presence, with the cross of the Lord; to build the Church upon the blood of the Lord, which was poured out on the cross; and to confess the only glory there is: Christ crucified. And in this way the Church will go forward.”

       I pray that our preachers read and follow these words of the Holy Father so that they do not mislead the people but lead them in the way Christ proposes: through the Cross to eternal life and happiness. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you get enthusiastic about talks and books about prosperity or do you willingly accept your daily cross, knowing that you follow Christ?

Lord, the cross is uncomfortable, but You want us to follow Your example. For only by taking up the cross will we also taste the joy of the resurrection. Thank You for this reminder.

St. Notburga, pray for us.

Do you want to receive this in your email. To get Bo Sanchez to send it to you personally, register and log-on to

No comments: