Sunday, September 14, 2008
Exaltation Of The Cross
Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. This is the day we recognize the victory of Christ Jesus over sin and death. In other words we celebrate the Mercy of God. When we stand at the foot of the Cross we come to know who we are in the Mercy of God. But we often prefer to be told who we are by our sins. What do your sins tell you? What does lying tell you? Are you not trying to be someone your not. What does gossip tell you? That you are better then someone else. What does cheating tell you? That it is good to get away with things. What does doing drugs tell you? That it is better to to escape real life and live in a fantasy world. What does greed tell you? That money equals happiness. What does excessive drinking tell you? That you deserve to relax because you work so hard. What does excessive gambling tell you? That one day you will hit it big and then all your problems will be solved. What about pornography? That it is okay to look at people as objects. What about casual sex outside of marriage? That we are nothing but animals and need to satisfy our base instincts. What does anger or a grudge say? That we better protect ourselves because no one else cares. How many lives, families, and marriages have been ruined by these lies. Not only these sins, but every sin begins and ends in a lie. Every sin ends with our betraying our very selves and often others as well. We often seek the comfort of our sins regardless of how they strip us of our dignity. We feel entitled to the comfort they provide. Our sins however are not a true refuge. True refuge is found only at the foot of the Cross of Christ. We have no right to embrace our sinful inclinations. We have no true need to embrace our sins. This feast of the Exaltation of the Cross reminds us that true freedom comes from the Cross of our Lord. Mercy is our true freedom and it comes from Christ Crucified. Stripped and nailed to a Cross Jesus restores to us our dignity and heals the mortal wound that sin inflicted upon us. When we look upon His Cross we come to know who we really are because we can see how much we are loved. Maybe no one else loves us. Maybe we feel abandoned and all alone. But we always have Jesus. He knows our loneliness because he was abandoned on the Cross. These are not just nice words, or childish sentiments. This is the truth of our lives revealed by Christ Crucified. Jesus loves you. You are His beloved. His Love is Merciful. No Lie! You are loved by name, personally. Come to the Cross and you will see who you really are in Christ's eyes. You are His beloved. So we celebrate the truth of our life found at the foot of the Cross. All of us have listened to enough lies in our lives. It is time we embrace this truth, and no longer live in fear of judgement and condemnation. Instead let us live in the light of the truth. Let us live in the Loving Mercy of Christ Jesus. The Loving Mercy we celebrate today as we Exalt His Holy Cross.