HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE EXALTATION OF THE CROSS
THEME: FEAST OF THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS.
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul
HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 14 2022
‘…For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life…’ (John 3:13-17)
The cross is a central image to Christians. We wear it, hang it on church and home walls, and reflect on it. But how often do we stop and think about what the cross actually symbolises? Firstly, it symbolises God’s love for sinful humanity. Dying on the cross was a horrific experience for Jesus, but He remained faithful to God. He trusted God enough to walk through this plan, even though He knew He would suffer. When He was praying in Gethsemane before He was arrested, He asked God to take away the suffering. ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me’ (Matthew 26:39). But He didn’t stop there. He went on to say: ‘If it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done’ (Matthew 26:42). His trust in His Father was so strong that He knew God’s way was the best way.
Sometimes we walk through things in life that we wish we didn’t have to. We have to face grief, illness, broken hearts, conflict, loneliness, and so much more. But we can follow Jesus’ example and remain faithful to God in those times. We can have faith that He will come through for us, and help us reach the other side of our situations. It’s okay for us to cry out to God, and ask Him to take the situation away. But, we also need to be prepared to keep trusting Him if He doesn’t. We may not understand why something is happening in our lives, but we can keep trusting in the goodness.
We all go through times when we feel hopeless and worthless. Times when we feel unloved and rejected. It can be hard to know where to turn. But what we need to do at those times is simply go back to the cross, and remember what Jesus did for us. When He gave up His life so that we could be saved. Nobody could demonstrate greater love for us. Take the words ‘Christ was crucified’, and add the words ‘for me’. It helps us to realise the depth of what God did when He hung His sinless Son on that cross. If you were the only person in the world, Christ would have died for you. With His arms stretched wide, He was saying, ‘This is how much I love you.’ When we are tempted to sin, when we are guilt-ridden by sin, when Satan whispers, ‘There is no hope for you’, when pride gets the better of us and makes but focus on our own glory rather than God’s, go back to the cross.
There is a hymn called ‘When I survey the wondrous cross’, which is a great reminder of just how powerful the cross is and how humbling it is for us to remember Jesus’ sacrifice so that we could live. The last few lines are: ‘Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were an offering far too small; love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.’ In other words, we can never repay Jesus for what He did for us. All we can do is to give Him our hearts and try to live a life that glorifies Him. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God have mercy on us, heal our world, bless and protect us all through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning