Engaging the Gospel – Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Exaltation of the Holy Cross: Gospel – John 3:13-17

We could never heal our own brokenness, never restore our relationship with God, never attain the eternal blessedness of heaven, by our own devices.

So out of His great love for us, God took the initiative in a design that unfolded throughout salvation history. He sent His Son, Jesus, to become man, and brought about our redemption through the mystery of His Cross.

Jesus’ “redemptive passion was the very reason for His Incarnation,” and “the desire to embrace His Father’s plan of redeeming love inspired Jesus’ whole life” (Catechism paragraph 607).

“The sign of the Cross is a kind of synthesis of our faith,” as Benedict XVI explains:

for it tells how much God loves us; it tells us that there is a love in this world that is stronger than death, stronger than our weaknesses and sins. The power of love is stronger than the evil which threatens us…

Are we able to understand that in the Crucified One of Golgotha, our dignity as children of God, tarnished by sin, is restored to us? Let us turn our gaze towards Christ. It is He who will make us free to love as He loves us, and to build a reconciled world.

For on this Cross, Jesus took upon Himself the weight of all the sufferings and injustices of our humanity. He bore the humiliation and the discrimination, the torture suffered in many parts of the world by so many of our brothers and sisters for love of Christ.

Because the power of God transformed this cruel death into a means of life, we can rightly see the Cross as a sign of victory:

And the Church invites us proudly to lift up this glorious Cross so that the world can see the full extent of the love of the Crucified One for mankind, for every man and woman. She invites us to give thanks to God because from a tree which brought death, life has burst out anew.

Homily of September 14, 2008.

Question for reflection: How does it feel to know that God went to such great lengths to save me?