Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
by Father Charles Irvin, M.Div, J.D.
The Cross of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
is a Sign of Contradiction. It Proclaims that it is the Prerogative of
God to bring Good out-of Evil,
Order out-of Chaos,
Meaning out-of Absurdity, and Life
out-of Death. God's Infinite Power comes to us in
the Human Powerlessness of Jesus Christ, born wrapped in Swaddling Clothes at the beginning of His Life
on Earth, and in His Powerlessness in being Nailed to the
Cross at the End of His Life here on Earth.
The Cross Stands at the very Apex of
Christ's Saving Entrance into our Humanity - and it Stands at the very Bottom of
Christ's Degradation. The Cross
Confounds Non-Believers, it Frightens the Proud,
those People of Unbounded Ambition who would have themselves be our Kings and Masters, and who would lead us away from
Truth, Justice, Beauty,
Love and Community. Finally, the
Cross Confounds Satan Worshippers and all of
the Demonic in our World.
And yet the Cross of Jesus Christ
is a Sign of Peace, a Sign with which we Bless
ourselves, our children, our homes, and all things we hold dear. Pre-eminently the Cross is
Proof of how far it is that God our Father has
gone to prove His Love for you and me. Strangely,
Mysteriously, and in a seemingly Contradictory Way, the Cross is a Sign of
Love. No! It is not merely a Sign or a Symbol, it is the Ultimate Proof of
God's Love for us. Truly and Surely the Cross of our
Savior is a Sign of Contradiction.
The Cross Summons us to Change the Way we see things. It Urges us, Challenges us,
and Demands us to Look at the World in a Vision and in a Way that Departs from the Vision we might have under a Different and Secular Perspective.
It calls us to look at our Relationships with others, to look at Life, and to see Death in ways that
are inside-out and upside-down from those who have no Faith, and who are forced to
see them through the Eyes of Fear.
Death, under the Cross, is
not an Ending, it is a Beginning. Suffering,
Pain and Loss under the Cross,
are no longer things that Separate us from God, they Unite us to
Him. Tragedy under the Cross is
not Ultimate, it is only Temporary. Sin, under the
Cross no longer Alienates us from God,
it Occasions His coming to us in the Midst of our Sins
in His Merciful Love.
Jesus Christ, Risen from the Dead,
is Victim no more. Why, then, should we consider ourselves to be
Victims? Under the Cross there are no more
Victims! For the Wood of the Tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden, and the Wood of the Crib in
Christ's Nativity in Bethlehem has become the Wood of the Cross that
Overcomes all that would Separate us from the Loving Presence of God in
Christ. Christ, Victim
no more, Reigns Triumphant from the Cross.
From the Tree of the Cross Planted in the Garden of the
Resurrection, the Christ we now 'Receive', comes to us here on
His Altar - upon which there are now no more
Victims. For He is Risen, Spirit-filled
and Victorious forever to join us into His Triumph
over all that would keep us Victims and in Bondage.
Truly, we can Celebrate here the Triumph of the Cross.
The Crucifixion - by GRÜNEWALD, Matthias - from Musée d'Unterlinden, Colmar
Exaltation of the Holy Cross Novena
Jesus, Who because of Your Burning Love for us Willed to be Crucified and to shed Your
Most Precious Blood for the Redemption and Salvation of our Souls, look down upon us and grant the Petition we ask for ...
We Trust Completely in Your Mercy.
Cleanse us from Sin by Your Grace,
Sanctify our Work,
Give us and all those who are dear to us our Daily Bread,
Lighten the Burden of our Sufferings,
Bless our Families,
and grant to the Nations, so sorely afflicted, Your Peace, which is the only
So that by Obeying Your Commandments we may come at last to the Glory of Heaven.