Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Exaltation of the Holy Cross
14 September 2016
Wednesday, 24th Week in Ordinary Time
Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Num 21:4b – 9 / Phil 2:6 – 11 / Jn 3:13 – 17
Public veneration of the Holy Cross dates to the fourth century when St. Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, discovered the true cross in Jerusalem.
From the 1st Reading: Num 21:4b - 9
The people were discouraged by the journey and began to complain against God and Moses, "Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is neither bread nor water here and we are disgusted with this tasteless manna."
Yahweh then sent fiery serpents against them. They bit the people and many of the Israelites died. Then the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, speaking against Yahweh and against you. Plead with Yahweh to take the serpents away."
Moses pleaded for the people and Yahweh said to him, "Make a fiery serpent and set it on a standard: whoever has been bitten and then looks at it shall live." So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a standard. Whenever a man was bitten, he looked toward the bronze serpent and he lived.
2nd Reading: Phil 2: 6 – 11
Though being divine in nature, he did not claim in fact equality with God, but emptied himself, taking on the nature of a servant, made in human likeness, and in his appearance found as a man. He humbled himself by being obedient to death, death on the cross. That is why God exalted him and gave him the Name which outshines all names, so that at the Name of Jesus all knees should bend in heaven, on earth and among the dead, and all tongues proclaim that Christ Jesus is the Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Gospel Reading: Jn 3:13 – 17
Jesus said to Nicodemus, "No one has ever gone up to heaven except the one who came from heaven, the Son of Man. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. Yes, God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but may have eternal life. God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world; instead, through him the world is to be saved."
Today's first reading from the book of Numbers speaks of the Israelites on their journey from Egypt to the promised land. With food and water supplies low, they complain to Moses, "Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?"
God sends those poisonous serpents and many of them died from the snake bites. They ask Moses to intercede for them with God. The Lord forgives them and gave them a remedy against the snake bites, "Make a fiery serpent and set it on a standard: whoever has been bitten and then looks at it shall live." A bronze serpent provided a cure against the deadly vipers; the cause of death was transformed into an agent of life.
This is precisely what Christ has done for us through his suffering and death on the cross: his pain and agony have become our path to new life. The cross has provided us with hope for eternal life.
This reminds us of our own life situations, of our bouts with illness, poor health and old age, with difficulties in family relationships and in business dealings. These make us complain like the Israelites, "Why are these things happening to me? Where are you, O God?"
Similar to the cross of Christ, these challenges and difficulties could be agents for new life. A cancer survivor could learn for himself/herself and teach others about what is truly important in life. A prisoner could repent of his misdeeds and start life anew.
As we celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we can wonder and be amazed and be filled with joy and thanksgiving at the Lord's love and mercy through the saving wood of the Cross.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
Kevin Patrick Ching Syling
Charisse Villaruz Inumerable
Eric & Eunice Yu Ampil
Estella & David Soon Eng Sin
IN MEMORIAM (+)
Edison Co Yu (Mar 4, 1952 – Sep 14, 1993)
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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