FEAST OF THE EXALTATION OF THE CROSS – 14 September 2019 – by Fr. Austin Joy MSFS

The feast of the Exaltation of the cross celebrates
the discovery of the true cross of Christ by St. Helena, the mother of roman emperor
Constantine the great, during a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 326. Later the church of the Holy Sepulchre was
built at the site of the discovery by order of Helena and Constantine in 335. In the first reading of the day Num-21:8-
Make a fiery serpant and set it on a pole and everyone who is bitten, when he SEES it
shall live. In the Gospel of the day Jn 3:14,15- And just
as Moses lifted up the serpant in the wilderness so must the son of man be lifted up that whoever
BELIEVES in him may have eternal life. When we merge the 1st reading and Gospel-
When he SEES it, Whoever BELIEVES ( SEE+BELIEVE=LIFE) seeing and believing will lead us to life. Zech 12:10- They will look at him whom they
have pierced. St. Faustina beautifully said “ In difficult
moments, I will fix my gaze upon the silent heart of Jesus stretched on the cross and
from the exploding flames of His merciful heart will flow down upon me power and strength
to keep fighting” My dear Brothers, sisters and youngsters-
if I ask you a question- How many of you want problem/suffering free life? I am sure many of you will put your hands
up. How I as follower of Christ- A Christian need
to look at my daily sufferings? Jesus reminds us in Mt 16:24- “if anyone
want to become my followers let them deny themselves and take up their cross (Not others
cross but your own) and follow me” Cross is a word that we generally use for
hardships, sufferings, things that are difficult to handle, to understand, to decide and so
on….the list is quite long. There was a man who complained always about
his daily cross to God. He wanted a suffering free life as many of
us are longing for. He then decided to cut his cross from beneath
little by little and made his cross smaller and easier to carry. The time arrived for him to make entry into
heaven but between heaven and earth there was a cliff. He saw all others who carried their own cross
kept their cross between heaven and earth and walked into heaven. He was surprisingly shocked at the sight because
his cross which he chiseled little by little was insufficient for his entry to heaven. St. Francis de Sales- the Doctor of the Church
says- “Cross is a gift of God”. He says “God has weighed the cross with
His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for
you”. Cross connects you and me to heaven. A Christian who does not want cross in his/her
life is not a Christian. That’s why Jesus said Mt 10:38-“Whoever
does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me”. We begin and end our prayer with the sign
of the cross. What does it mean? Is there any power in it at all? It is indeed powerful provided we know the
inner meaning of it and make the sign of the cross reverently and respectfully. 1. In the name of the father- (Touch our forehead)
it means I ask the Lord to cleanse my mind Rom 12:2- Do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewingof your minds so that you may discern what is the
will of God. Lord cleanse my mind. 2. And of the son- (Touch our heart) Our heart
sometimes deceives us. Therefore I ask the Lord to cleanse my Heart-. In Jer 17:9 we read “The heart is devious
above all else. It is perverse- who can understand it? Lord Cleanse my Heart. 3. And of the Holy Spirit- (Touch left and right
shoulders) saying God cleanse my body. Our bodies are the God’s residence. This we read in 1Cor 6:19- Do you not know
that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Lord Cleanse my Body. My dear friends making the sign of the cross
reverently and respectfully can implore many blessings, Strength and protection upon us
from God. In short it is- Lord Cleanse my Mind, Cleanse
my Heart, Cleanse my Body. Cleansing will lead you and me into sanctity. Our personal sanctity will open doors for
many miracles in our lives as we read in Joshua 3:5 “Sanctify yourself for tomorrow the
Lord will work wonders among you”. Therefore dear Bros, Srs and Youngsters let
us not be disappointed with our lives when faced with difficulties rather let us take
refuge under the shadow of the Holy Cross. As letter of James rightly advices us in chapter
1:2- “My Brothers and Sisters whenever you face trials of any kind consider it nothing
but Joy”. May this celebration of the Feast of the Holy
Cross grant you and me new strength and passion to take up our daily cross and follow HIM
more closely. I Bless you with the Power of the sign of
the Cross- In the name of the FATHER and of the SON and of the HOLY SPIRIT + Amen.

7 thoughts on “FEAST OF THE EXALTATION OF THE CROSS – 14 September 2019 – by Fr. Austin Joy MSFS

  1. Lovely Video Father, I came across the following:

    Reading of the Day : Numbers 21: 4-9

    8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.

    Gospel of the day : John 3; 13-17

    14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[b] 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

    Conclusion :

    Seeing and Believing will lead us to Life.

    Justification of Cross :

    Cross is a Gift of god ; Cross connects you and me to Heaven.

    The meaning of Sign of Cross :

    Father : Cleanse my mind; Romans 12 : 2

    Son : Cleanse my Heart; Jeremiah 17 : 9

    Holy Spirit : Cleanse my Body; 1st Corinthians 6:19

    All Glory to God

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