Feast of the Triumph of the Cross
Today the Church celebrates the anniversary of the finding of the True Cross of Christ by Constantine's elderly mother Helena, who was a Christian. She set out on a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands in the 4th Century and found the site of the Holy Sepulchre where the body of the Lord was buried for three days before the resurrection. Unfortunately, a pagan temple had been built upon it after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. St. Helena as she is known, began excavations at the site and the legend has it that three crosses were found near the site and she had a Basilica built there to honor the Lord and the True Cross.
In Mass today, the focus of the readings was on the Cross of Christ and his death and suffering for our salvation. Starting from the Old Testament , we heard how Moses raised the brazen serpent on a pole ( foreshadowing Christ being lifted up on the Cross) to the New Testament epistle to the Phillipians which describes so beautifully how Christ humbled himself and was obedient to death on the Cross. The final reading was from the Gospel of John where Jesus summarizes God's plan of salvation for Nicodemus (and us).
Jesus said to Nicodemus: "No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him."
Our priest's homily reminded us how important it is to focus daily on the Cross of Christ as our source of power and strength to live our lives for Him.
So today's Mass was for me a wonderful reminder of His suffering and death for me and a celebration of the sacrifice He offered for my salvation. I am so thankful to God for these lovely feasts that are part of the rhythm of the devotional life of the Church and its people. What's not to love about this?