September 14

 

The Exaltation of the Cross

In the exaltation of the cross, we rejoice that something so terrible should have been transformed into a means of redemption for the whole human race. We remind ourselves of our history. Take away that history – take away the Cross – and Christianity is nonsense.

Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Gal 6: 14

We should glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection, through whom we are saved and delivered.

Collect

O God, who willed that your Only Begotten Son should undergo the Cross to save the human race, grant, we pray, that we, who have known his mystery on earth, may merit the grace of his redemption in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

First Reading: Numbers 21:4-9

On the way the people lost patience. They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? For there is neither bread nor water here: we are sick of this unsatisfying food.’ At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel. The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, ‘Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.’ So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.

Psalm 77: 1-2.34-38

R/ Never forget the deeds of the Lord

  1. Give heed, my people, to my teaching; turn your ear to the words of my mouth I will open my mouth in a parable and reveal hidden lessons of the past.
  2. When he slew them then they would seek his return and seek him in earnesty. They would remember that God was their rock God the Most High their redeemer.
  3. But the words they spoke were mere flattery they lied to him with their lips For their hearts were not truly with him they were not faithful to his covenant.
  4. Yet he who is full of compassion forgave their sin and spared them So often he held back his ange when he might have stirred up his rage.

Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11

The state of Jesus was divine yet he did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave and became as men are.  And being as all men are he was humbler yet even to accepting death, death on a cross. But God raised him high and gave him the name  which is above all other names so that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld should bend the knee at the name of Jesus and that every tongue should acclaim Jesus Christ as Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel: John 3:13-17

Jesus said to Nicodemus ‘No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven the Son of Man who is in heaven and the Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life. For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world but so that through him the world might be saved.’

Prayer over the Offerings

May this oblation, O Lord, which on the altar of the Cross, cancelled the offence of the whole world, cleanse us, we pray, of all our sins. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon: Jn 12: 32

When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself, says the Lord.

Prayer after Communion

Having been nourished by your holy banquet, we beseech you, Lord Jesus Christ, to bring those you have redeemed by the wood of your life-giving Cross to the glory of the resurrection. Who live and reign for ever and ever.

Reflection

Patience is a virtue, for this reason, those who lack this Christian virtue will always murmur against God when they think that God is not answering their prayers. Paul exhorts the community of Ephesus (Eph 4:1), to live a life worthy of their vocation, among all others with patience. The vocation of the Israelites was not to murmur against God and against Moses, while after being delivered from the house of servitude in Egypt, their only vocation was that of gratitude to God and patience with God and Moses as the leader. As Christians, we have many petitions and prayers, sometimes expecting an immediate response, but this is not how God works his ways, on the other hand, we should always be patient.