Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. We are used to making the sign of the cross or seeing the cross displayed in our churches and homes. The prominence of the cross may lead us to forget that the cross was a sign of shame and a crucified messiah was a scandal:
“For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles…For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:22-25).
As today’s Gospel brings out the sign of the cross is a sign of God’s love, of God’s wisdom and of God’s strength:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17).
God shows his great love for us by becoming one of us. Jesus experienced both the joys and the sorrows of being human. Since He was both fully human and fully divine, He was not “play acting” when He experienced betrayal, denial, abandonment, and suffering. He fully experienced our human condition.
As Saint Paul tells us in the second reading because he experienced all of these things in obedience to his Father, “God greatly exalted him.” So, we “confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Jesus Christ is our Lord.
Today’s feast shows us that true exaltation comes through humility and obedience to the will of God. True glory and exaltation come through love as God has shown us in sending his Son into our world and into our life.