1.Numbers 21:4-9
2.Phil 2:6-11
3.John 3:13-17


As we celebrate the feast of the exultation of the cross,let us  have the historical background of this feast. We celebrate  this important feast for two reasons: 1. To recall an historical event that proved to be extremely important in the life of Christian Church 2. To underline the importance of the symbol and reality of the cross in the daily life of every Christian. The important event we celebrate today dates back to year 326 of the relics of the cross on which Jesus was crucified. According to St. John Crysostom, St, Helena, Mother of Emperor Constatine longed to find the cross of Jesus Christ, for this reason she travelled to Jerusalem when she organized a dig at the hill of Calvary, thus after a dig had been done three crosses were found. Crosses being found at the hill of Calvary , yet it was not easy to identify the cross that belonged to Jesus among the three crosses , thus to identify the cross of Jesus  a sick man and dead man being taken for burial were brought. The three crosses were to touch the sick man and the dead person. By doing that it was realized that among the three crosses one of them when brought into contact with the sick person, the sick person recovered from his sickness and the dead person in contact with the same cross, came back to life. With this in mind of the miracles happened testified that the third cross was the cross where Jesus Christ was crucified


News of the finding the true cross quickly spread and believers gathered to see the true cross and to venerate it. The Patriach of Jerusalem, Makarios standing on raised plattform lifted high the cross exalting it for all people to see. St. Helena then commissioned a church to built over the site. The church of the Holy Sepulchre was consecrated was consecrated on September 13, 335. The feast of finding and exultation of the cross was appointed to be celebrated annually on the following day. The Basilica of the holy sepulchre is today regarded as the holiest spot on earth by Christians of all denominations

To day the sign of the cross is both Christian symbol and Christian Identity. The cross is not just a piece of wood, it is the symbolic summary of the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ by which  we have been redeemed. It is a symbol of our faith in the crucified and risen one our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ taught us that the cross should be a constant feature in the lives of us Christians. " if any one want to become my follower he must deny himself and take up his daily cross and follow me"( Lk 9:23). Self denial and sacrifice should be part and parcel of our lives. Sacrifice means to give that which we count valuable in our lives before God and for the sake of our neighbors. Our daily crosses in life are our daily sacrifices we offer to our brothers and sisters, in fact this is testified in the life of Jesus'ministry, in the lives of saints, thus this is what we are called to be.

When we celebrate the feast of the exultation of the cross we see from the scripture that when Moses raised the serpent (the seraph) on a pole to save the people from their sins, thus this was a foreshadow of Christ who would be lifted high on the cross to save us from our sins.

By virtue of  your baptism you are part of common priesthood. By virtue of my ordination I am part of the ministerial priesthood. Thus we both offer on the alter sacrifice whenever we gather together to celebrate mass on weekdays and on sunday, for you that means all the sufferings, trials and tribulations you experience during the week should be brought here on Sunday and laid on the altar. When the gifts of bread and wine are presented and put on the altar, then you spiritually lay your sufferings on the altar and pour them into the chalice. Then I call upon the Holy spirit( Consecration), and they are transformed into the Eucharist. What was our sufferings become our means of salvation  and that of all the World. This is how our suffering becomes meaningful when we empty ourselves and offer it on behalf of others.

The feast of the exultation of the cross is all about service. It is in service that we are glorified and exulted, not in show of power/wealth/ influence. From the letter of st. Paul we learn that " God became a servant , a slave- he humbled himself yet through that act he was glorified. We are called to be servants of our communities and of our brothers and sisters in our vocation to be truly christians.

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Chapisha Maoni