14 Sep Tue, The Exaltation of the Holy Cross - Feast

9/13/2021 7:08:24 PM
Num. 21:4-9 or Phil. 2:6-11 / Ps. 77:1-2,34-35,36-37,38 / Jn. 3:13-17 (Ps Wk IV)

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Many of the early Christians did not have a positive image of the cross. It was a cruel and humiliating form of execution, and there was a great deal of shame attached to it. But John invites his readers to look beyond outward appearances. In a beautiful pun (only in the original Greek), one word means both exaltation and lifting up. In other words, what most people would view with horror is actually something glorious when seen through the eyes of God. It is all about love: Jesus came into the world not to condemn but to save - to offer us the cure for our 'poison' as expressed in the story from Numbers. He cures us of fear, selfishness, violence, and negativity that lead to spiritual death, and he offers us eternal life in its place.

All of this Jesus did willingly, and his motivation was compassion. He let go of everything; he even laid aside his divine privileges and became not only human but in the form of a slave. Because of his emptying of self, compassion, and obedience to God, he was exalted and given both power and honour. There is only one human sin: selfishness. There is only one cure: by giving of ourselves. By giving ourselves away, we do not lose anything but selfishness, and we will be spiritually empowered. Rather than an object of worship, the cross is a constant reminder of the life of Jesus - and the life we are to imitate - of loving and humble service to others. We, too, can be lifted up or exalted - we are given many opportunities each day.

Lord, help me to be a person for others.  

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9月14日 ( 二 ) 光榮十字聖架慶日

戶籍紀 21:4-9
聖詠 78[77]:1-2,34-35,36-37,38
斐理伯書 2:6-11
若望福音 3:13-17

光榮十字聖架節慶祝四世紀君士坦丁大帝的母親聖海倫皇后發現耶穌被釘的十字架、耶路撒冷聖墓大殿的落成祝聖,以及七世紀時羅馬從波斯人手上奪回十字架。相傳這十架因曾接觸並治好一個垂死的婦女而被確認為耶穌被釘的那一具。

聖週五既已紀念耶穌受難,為何今天我們又紀念十字聖架?跟據今天的聖經,梅瑟在曠野高舉了銅蛇,人因仰望它而得救;福音以此比擬釘在十字架上被高舉、供人瞻仰而得救的耶穌。十字架提醒我們要仰望基督。若天天只顧埋首於世俗事務,容易迷失,我們要懂得抬頭仰望十字架上的基督,重新把眼光放在這位服從至死,而被舉揚的基督,認清天主對我們的愛和旨意,重回生命的正軋。

蛇和十字架都可致我們於死地,天主卻透過這些記號,帶來生命!邀請我們對祂要有信心,放心將自己交託;在人的絕望當中,正是天主工作的時候!

天主,請幫助我們時常都記起祢對我們的大愛,並願意積極回應。

(theology.org.hk)
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