The Exaltation of the Cross

Lord, by Your Holy Cross You have redeem the world!

Lord, by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world!

Today we celebrate our love for Jesus and show him how grateful we are through our respect for the cross.

The cross was once the greatest symbol of shame. Criminals preferred to be killed by the sword instead of dying a shameful death on the cross.

Jesus chose the worst kind of death for us to give us our salvation. He took on the suffering and shame of the cross.

For Christians the cross has now become the most sacred symbol. When the cross has the image of the suffering Christ on it, that cross is called a crucifix.

The crucifix on our bedroom wall and the crucifix or cross worn around our neck is an important reminder that Jesus paid a price for us.

For hundreds of years pieces of the true cross have been treasured by devout Christians. It is believed that Emperor Heraclius recovered pieces of wood from the cross of Jesus in 629.

He and his soldiers honored these pieces and invited all the people in the area to join them. Even before that time, Christians honored and loved the symbol of the cross.

The word “cross” can also mean the sufferings that come our way. When we accept them lovingly and with patience as Jesus did his cross, we become “cross-bearers” like Jesus.

Reflection: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world!

Prayer: O God, who willed that your Only Begotten Son should undergo the Cross to save the human race, grant, we pray, that we, who have known his mystery on earth, may merit the grace of his redemption in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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