Friday, September 14, 2012
The Triumph of the Cross
The feast originated as a celebration of the recovery of the True Cross that Jesus suffered and died upon and which was discovered by St. Helena.
But this feast day is so much more than just a celebration of recovery of a relic. It's a celebration of the recovery of our lives from sin.
The readings for today's Mass include the story of Moses lifting up the bronze serpent on a pole so the Israelites could recover after they complained bitterly about the ways of God. The suffering caused by seraph snakes was turned into healing when blessed by God. The cause was transformed into redemption.
We see this in the life of Jesus after He rises from the dead. The wounds that caused His death became the lights of glory that healed Thomas. By His wounds the disciples knew Him and where healed. Jesus healed their doubt through His suffering and resurrection and it set them free.
Do we not see this in our own life? When we open our wounds to Jesus and stop running from them, He comes very close to us to touch our pain and shame and heal us. From there, the light of His glory shines and becomes an instrument of healing for others.
This is the Triumph of the Cross-not that we are never wounded or that we never sin but that Jesus comes to forgive and heal our wounds.
It is the Cross that will triumph over the disorders of our sexuality. It is the Cross that will triumph over our enemies who wish to see us suffer. It is the Cross that will triumph over deception, deceit and lies. We only need to open ourselves up to Jesus and allow Him to reorder us personally and from there, the world.
The truth is that change begins with us personally. What are we willing to do to allow Jesus to come and heal us? Are we willing to return to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist? Are we willing to fast and pray for those in danger of abortion and for the truth of human life to triumph in this country? Are we willing to seek counseling or sobriety? Are we willing to love someone who is particularly difficult in our lives and pray for healing? Are we at least willing to be willing?
The good news is that we don't and can't do any of this in our own. We need the help of God who so lovingly and delightfully comes to help us. This is the Triumph of the Cross.
How incredibly we are loved!