Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lift High the Cross

How are you feeling today? Sad, anxious, fearful, lonely, happy, depressed? Jesus Christ came into the world to shatter the darkness in our lives and to elevate our joy! He did so through his unbelievable sacrifice on the Cross - a sacrifice that makes us realize, more than anything else, how much we are loved. His Cross is firmly planted in the midst of our lives, if only we have the faith to see and the courage to reach out and touch it - to touch Him.

Today the Church celebrates the Triumph of the Cross - the mystery that by giving up His life on this instrument of His death, He defeated sin and all the agents of darkness. His cross is the sign of His victory! In the Office of Readings today St. Andrew of Crete reflects on the mystery:

We are celebrating the feast of the cross which drove away darkness and brought in the light. As we keep this feast, we are lifted up with the crucified Christ, leaving behind us earth and sin so that we may gain the things above. So great and outstanding a possession is the cross that he who wins it has won a treasure. Rightly could I call this treasure the fairest of all fair things and the costliest, in fact as well as in name, for on it and through it and for its sake the riches of salvation that had been lost were restored to us...
...Had there been no cross, Christ could not have been crucified. Had there been no cross, life itself could not have been nailed to the tree. And if life had not been nailed to it, there would be no streams of immortality pouring from Christ’s side, blood and water for the world’s cleansing. The legal bond of our sin would not be cancelled, we should not have attained our freedom, we should not have enjoyed the fruit of the tree of life and the gates of paradise would not stand open. Had there been no cross, death would not have been trodden underfoot, nor hell despoiled. Therefore, the cross is something wonderfully great and honourable...
We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you,
because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

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