Wednessday 14th September 2022
of the Holy Cross – Feast
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Alleluia, alleluia! We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you; because by your cross you have redeemed the world. Alleluia!
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.
The cross without the Redeemer is sheer cynicism; but with the Son of man the Cross is the new tree of Wisdom. There is hope, there is meaning, and there is life in the cross. Jesus’ being on the cross shows how great God’s love is and how far He would go just for our sake. We raise up the cross today so that we can look at it, so that we can see clearly what we have done by our sin, and what God has done to redeem us. The triumph of the cross is not simply about Christ and what he has done for us. We also have a share in the cross. We are not only recipients; we are also participants. The “cross” extends far beyond Calvary; it is the way of understanding all our human sufferings. It probably alright to associate the cross with suffering, difficulties, trial, pain, etc. But remember, God does not give us a cross which we cannot carry.