The Exaltation of the Holy Cross


Dear friends in Christ

This Sunday the Church celebrates the Triumph of the Cross of Christ.  We do this today in a way that would be inappropriate on Good Friday, in the same manner that it would be inappropriate to celebrate Corpus Christi on Maundy Thursday.   The origin of this feast goes back to the earliest centuries of Christianity and commemorates the finding of the True Cross by the Empress St Helena, in the fourth century.  The tree of shame has become the Tree of Life because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Probably the first sign that was placed upon us soon after birth was the Sign of the Cross.  By the grace of God the final symbol placed upon us before we leave this world will again be the Cross.  Each time we pray, each time we celebrate the liturgy or a Sacrament, we begin and end with the Sign of the Cross.  We are thus deeply implicated in this mystery of the Cross which is the mark of our salvation.  But it is not simply an external sign; the cross is also and especially present in our lives in different ways.  It may be manifest through sickness, poverty, pain, tiredness, loneliness or scorn.  Today we could examine the way that we face-up to the Cross: is it a source of purification that brings life and joy?  Do I want to live my life immersed in the saving Cross of Our Lord?  Do I try to live every facet of my existence embracing the failures, sufferings and difficulties of life by which brings about my holiness?  And do I live this joyfully?!

It was encouraging to have such a large group at the first of our Talks on the Faith for non-Catholics last Monday.  This Monday evening I will be speaking about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; so do encourage anyone to come along who may wish to know more about what Catholics believe and how we worship God in the Mystery of the Eucharist.  Above all, please pray for those who may be discerning a vocation to join the Catholic Faith.  God bless you all!

Fr Kevin Hale