On September 14th, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. This feast had been established at the end of the 7th century AD, in order to commemorate three historical events in the history of the Church.
- The finding of the True Cross thanks to Saint Helena, mother of the Roman king Constantine.
- The dedication of the Churches built by Constantine on the site of the Holy Sepulcher and Mount Calvary
- The restoration of the True Cross to Jerusalem in AD 629 by the Byzantine emperor Heraclius, from the hands of the Persian emperor Chosroes II in AD 614, who had taken it away after conquering Jerusalem.
The Roman emperor Constantine held excavation in order to ascertain the exact location of Calvary and the Holy Sepulcher. Consequently, the Wood of the True Cross was recovered and this helped to trace out the exact location of Calvary. Constantine built the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher for establishing this Holy Cross.
We venerate the Cross, since it is a visible sign of Christ’s love for all of us. St. Faustina wrote in her diary, “In difficult moments, I will fix my gaze upon the silent Heart of Jesus stretched on the Cross, and from the exploding flames of His merciful Heart, will flow down upon me power and strength to keep fighting.”
St. Thomas Aquinas expressed his reflection about the Cross in these words, “If you seek patience, you will find no better example than the cross. Great patience occurs in two ways: either when one patiently suffers much, or when one suffers things which one is able to avoid and yet does not avoid. Christ endured much on the cross, and did so patiently … he was led like a sheep to the slaughter and he did not open his mouth.”
Let us always look up to the Cross, the significant symbol of our Salvation as the sign of God’s immeasurable love for us. This is what St. John underlines in his Gospel, “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” (St. John 3:16-17).
May The Holy Cross of Jesus Christ be the source of our strength
Fr. Arul Joseph V