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Monday, September 14, 2009

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Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Numbers 21:4-9
Philippians 2:6-11
Psalm 78:1-2, 34-38
John 3:13-17

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"lift high the cross"

"He humbled Himself...because of this, God highly exalted Him." —Philippians 2:8, 9

How do we Catholics treat the cross of being called to have a large family? When we see a large family pass by, do we look on them with pity and say to others, "What a burden"? (Mal 1:13) What are our comments about those who suffer from Alzheimers, Down's Syndrome, mental retardation, physical handicaps, etc? How do we respond when we see an overburdened priest, religious brother, or sister? Do we tell others that the cross of celibacy, loneliness, and poverty isn't worth the trouble?

If our response to those who carry these crosses is "What a burden," we subtly tell the world that the cross of Jesus is a thing to be avoided, not a thing of triumph. We humble the cross rather than exalt it.

Have you humbled or abased the cross of Jesus in any way? Repent! Let's revere the crosses of others in a way that shows the world that we are not ashamed of the cross of Christ Jesus (Rm 1:16; Mk 8:38). Lift high the cross of Christ! Through it, Jesus will draw all men and women to Himself (Jn 12:32).

Prayer:  Father, may I "speak of nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Cor 2:2).

Promise:  "God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him." —Jn 3:17

Praise:  Praise the crucified Jesus, Whose name is exalted above every other name! (Phil 2:9)

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 11, 2009

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