We need to take up our cross, whatever it is, and follow its journey to Life. Not just to carry it, but to gaze up to it, focus upon its details in every way, every day!


Today’s Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross is a wonderful breath of optimism. We recognize the cross as the instrument of our salvation.  The words of a song we sing on Good Friday resonate through my mind as I reflect on these passages – “Behold, behold, the wood of the Cross, on which is hung  our salvation. Oh come, let us adore.”

Although the suffering and humiliating death that Jesus the Son of God endured for us seems a hard road for us to follow, it is in fact the only road to salvation and life.

The cross symbolizes the victory of Jesus over the power of evil and He became the instrument of our redemption.

These few words point to the heart of what today’s readings are about. From the Old Testament we are told that the Israelites gave Moses and God a really hard time. God responded by sending serpents among them and many were bitten. Moses speaks up for them and God listens. Moses responds to God and makes a bronze serpent and anyone bitten by a serpent would look at the bronze serpent and be saved.

“With their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained….”   Often we set out on our daily adventures filled with expectations and hope, only to find barriers have been erected to spoil our plans.  Life is hard sometimes.  Humans are pretty good at adapting and working around these problems that inevitably come our way.  But sometimes we lose our nobility.  That can happen more easily when we are tired and hungry.  Our bodies can let us down, and many times perhaps all we need is a little nap and some food and drink to bring us back to our senses.  And if you can just have a friend to encourage you along the way, it is much easier to be patient and bear up under adversity on the journey.   In this way, we are really not that different from our young children.

St Paul tells the Philippians that Jesus humbled Himself and became as we humans are. He distinguished Himself by dying on the cross. God raised Him on high and proclaimed Him as Lord. John tells us we need to believe in the journey of the Son of Man, from heaven to earth and return to God, to have eternal life.

We need to take up our cross, whatever it is, and follow its journey to Life. Not just to carry it, but to gaze up to it, focus upon its details in every way, every day!

But what does the world see when you bear your daily cross? Do they see a suffering person with little hope that God will assist them, complaining publicly about how heavy a cross with which God has burdened them, giving the impression that God has forgotten about their pain? If that describes you, you won’t get many questions about your hope in Jesus – at least not from unbelievers. The questions you’ll get will more likely come from fellow Christians wondering what happened to your joy.

What does the world see when you bear your daily cross? Does the world see you walking to Calvary unafraid and uncomplaining, with a grateful heart, suffering yet trusting in God’s mercy? When the world sees you bearing your cross like this, it wonders why. It wants to know your secret. “Should anyone ask you the reason for this hope of yours, be ever ready to reply” (1 Pt 3:15). Embrace the cross the Lord has given you. Let Jesus give you the triumph of His cross in your life.
O Lord, help us to follow Your example.  “Lift high the cross,  the love of Christ proclaim, till all the world adore His sacred name.”

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