Exultation of the Holy Cross

On September 14 the Church celebrates the Feast of the Exultation of the Cross. At the time when Jesus lived, the cross was an instrument of torture and execution used by the Romans. It was used to put criminals to death and also to intimidate the people living in places the Romans conquered, as a warning that they were not to be opposed. Jesus was put to death on this dreaded Roman instrument of torture.

But the crucified Jesus, rose again on the third day, triumphing over sin and death; triumphing over the most cruel and feared instrument of control in the Roman world.  His death and resurrection allowed all people to become new creations in Him.

Today we celebrate the cross as the symbol of our salvation. At every Mass, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross becomes real on the altar through the prayer of the priest. The bread becomes the body of Christ, which was nailed to the cross; and the wine becomes the blood he shed for us. When we receive communion we receive the body and blood of our Savior, sacrificed so that our sins might be forgiven; sacrificed so that we might have new life in Him; sacrificed so that we might live eternally in God’s presence. He becomes a part of us and we become one in Him.

As we pray with this window may we reflect on Jesus’ death and resurrection. May we ask God to help us realize the presence of Jesus’ sacrifice on the altar at every Mass. May we ask God to help us focus on all the prayers of the Mass and lift our hearts to Him as we pray. And may we always praise and thank Him for such a wonderful gift of Himself.