Sunday 14th September – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Reflection: Philippians 2: 6-11
THE CROSS OF CHRIST
Many today wonder the relevance of the crucifix in the life of the Church, imagining why the instrument of our Lord’s humiliation, torture and death should be venerated by Christians. Taken in isolation, Christ’s crucifixion would have been a fatal blow to the Christian faith (1 Corinthians 15:14). However, our Lord’s resurrection gives the proper symbolic significance to his cross – our victory over sin, Satan and death.
Beloved, each time we venerate the cross, three things should readily come to mind:
First, we are all indebted to the profound love that led Christ to Calvary. Our contemplation of the cross must constantly fill us with deep appreciation for how much Christ suffered to ransom us from the grip of sin, Satan and eternal damnation.
Secondly, Christ calls us each day to partake in this sacrificial life. In love, He gave his entire self to us; in appreciation we must freely and lovingly give our entire life to Him. (1 John 3:16) What He loves, we must love; what He wills, we must will. In total obedience and self renunciation, our lives become a sweet smelling sacrifice, glorifying God and blessing mankind.
Finally, we have the assurance of His presence in life’s difficulties (Isaiah 43: 1-3). Christianity as some would want to believe is not a bed of roses. We shall all, in one way or the other partake of the chalice of Christ’s suffering (2 Timothy 3: 10-12; John 15: 18-20; Mark 10: 38-39; John 8:11). The promise of God to us is not a problem free life, rather, to see us through the tough times of life (Isaiah 43: 1-2, Matthew 28: 20b).
Dear friend, perhaps this last point touches more on your present situation, please never give up, as Christ has promised never to leave us nor forsake us.
PRAYER: Thank you Lord Jesus for how much you suffered for me. Please keep me faithful to you all through the seasons of my life. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 102 – Why are we too supposed to accept suffering in our lives and thus “take up our cross” and thereby follow Jesus?
Christians should not seek suffering, but when they are confronted with unavoidable suffering, it can become meaningful for them if they unite their sufferings with the sufferings of Christ: “Christ. . . suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps” (1 Pet 2:21).
HIDE A TREASURE: “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1: 18 RSV-CE
Readings for today: Numbers 21: 4-9; Psalm 78: 1-2, 34-38; Philippians 2: 6-11; John 3: 13-17