Lord, your cross is a constant reminder of the life of Jesus — and the life we are to imitate — of loving and humble service to others
Feast of The Exaltation of the Holy Cross : Monday 14th September 2020
Sir. 27:33—28:7; Ps. 102:1-2,3-4,9-10,11-12; Rom. 14:7-9;
Mt. 18:21-35 (Ps Wk IV)
Many of the early Christians did not have a positive image of the cross. It was a cruel and humiliating form of execution, and there was a great deal of shame attached to it. But John invites his readers to look beyond outward appearance.
In a wonderful pun (only in the original Greek) one word means both exaltation and lifting up. In other words, what most people would view with horror is actually something glorious when seen through the eyes of God.
It is all about love: Jesus came into the world not to condemn but to save — to offer us the cure for our ‘poison’ as in the story from Numbers. He cures us of fear, selfishness, violence, and negativity that lead to spiritual death, and he offers us eternal life in its place.
Jesus did all of these willingly and his motivation was compassion and mercy. He laid aside his divine privileges and became not only human but took the form of a slave. By his emptying of self, his compassion, and his obedience to God, he was exalted and given both power and honour.
There is only one human sin: self. There is only one cure: by giving of ourselves. In this self emptying, we do not lose anything but selfishness, and spiritually we are empowered. The cross is a constant reminder of the life of Jesus — and the life we are to imitate — of loving and humble service to others. We too can be lifted up or exalted; we are given many opportunities each day.
Lord, help me to be a person for others.