Sep 14 (Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross – Jn 3:13-17)

The first quarter of the year 1984 saw a lot of political unrest in Poland…

… with the government banning the display of crucifixes (= a Cross with the figure of Christ on it)  from factories, hospitals, schools and other public institutions.

No heed was paid to the strong waves of anger and resentment, all across the nation!

In a certain town in Eastern Poland – Garwolin –  a very zealous Communist administrator, one evening…

… removed seven large crucifixes from the classrooms of a school

A few days later, some parents entered the school and hung more crosses

>> But even those were taken down!

The following day, nearly 2/3rds of the school’s six hundred students staged a protest.

>> When heavily arm-laden police arrived, these students were forced into the streets.

Then they marched to a nearby Church…

… with crucifixes held high!

They were joined by 2,500 other students from nearby schools…

… for a prayer meet, in support of the protest.

Soldiers surrounded the Church..

… but the students remained undeterred, inside, and held on to the proclamation of the faith.

The following day, the world had taken notice of this bold protest…

… with many newspapers flashing the following headline:

“Clutching Crucifixes, students proclaim – There is no Poland without a Cross!”

Yes, this, indeed, is the truth of Christian life…

“Clutching Crucifixes, we need to proclaim – There is no Christianity without the Cross!”

This is the message being proclaimed by the Church – loud and clear and without any compromise – today, on this Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

Every religion and every ideology has its own symbol.

But what makes the symbol of Christianity – the Cross – so unique is that…

… Its founder transformed this instrument of shame into the sign of salvation!

… Its founder not just preached about the symbol, but even embraced it , in obedience and love!

The Cross had cast its shadow on the life of Christ all through…

>> Wood (symbolic of the ‘Wood of the Cross’) was part of the life of Christ all through…

… the Babe Jesus was laid on the ‘wood of the manger’ by his beloved Parents

… the Boy Jesus worked with ‘wood in the workshop’ of His carpenter father, Joseph

… the Brave Jesus would use the ‘wood of the boat’, as His Pulpit to preach the Word of God

>> The Beloved Jesus would finally be laid on the “wood of the Cross” in total obedience to His Father!

This is what the Lord foretold Nicodemus…

… as we see in today’s Gospel Passage: ” 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.” (Jn 3: 14)

Jesus makes a reference to the Old Testament incident as found in the Book of Numbers (Num 21: 4b-9)…

>> The people grew disinterested and dissipated by their journey and began to grumble

>> Their sin of disobedience and lack of trust in God’s Will  caused them to be punished

>> However, God in His mercy, offered a bronze serpent, mounted on a pole…

… for deliverance from the punishments of their sin

This bronze serpent would be a typography of the Cross of Christ!

Just as the bronze serpent came to the rescue of the people of Israel, the Cross of Christ comes to our rescue…

… but with a much greater reward – of salvation!

… with a much greater consolation – of the peace of Christ!

We too, often grow disinterested and dissipated in our journey of life and begin to grumble

>> Our sin of disobedience and lack of trust in God’s Will,  brings us punishments of various kinds.

However, God in His mercy, offers us Christ Crucified, mounted on the Cross…

… for deliverance from the punishments of our sin!

All those who looked at the bronze serpent had lived…

>> All of us, who will look at Christ Crucified on the Cross, will live forever!

Our modernistic world has notoriously and pragmatically misuses the Cross:

>> Fashionists have the symbol of Christianity stylishly displayed all over themselves..

… as jewellery hanging round their necks, ears, wrists etc

… as tattoos imprinted on the various body parts

… as drawings on various objects of worldly use

The Cross is often found to be degraded and despised as merely…

… an ornament of show

… a pattern of beautification

… a statement of raging and crazy style

But the Cross of Christ transcends all these…

And, we Christians, today, need to be zealous, to restore the Cross, the Symbol of Christianity to its original sense…

… The Symbol of Hope and Salvation

… The Symbol of Unconditional Love

… The Symbol of Unfathomable Mercy

Yes, may this Feast Day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross…

… remind and revive in us, its message: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have Eternal Life!” (Jn 3:16)

>> And may we hold firm to the truth of Christian life…

“Clutching Crucifixes, we need to proclaim – There is no Christianity without the Cross!”

Happy Feast of the Holy Cross of Christ!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “If you wish to learn how to love God, come to Calvary.

>> Jesus Christ on His Cross will teach you!

Mount Calvary is the Mount of lovers!

>> All love which does not take it’s origin from the Passion of the Saviour, is foolish and dangerous!

Love and death are eternally blended together in the Passion of the Saviour!”

——————————–

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