Friday, September 14, 2018

⛪The World Might Be Saved

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Bring God's Love to All

Evangelize with love, bring God's love to all. Tell all those you meet on the streets of your mission that God loves man as he is, even with his limitations, with his mistakes, even with his sins. That is why he sent his Son, that he might take our sins onto himself. May you be messengers and witnesses of the infinite goodness and inexhaustible mercy of the Father.

—from the book Believe in Love: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis


"You can do more with the grace of God than you think."
— St. John Baptist de la Salle

"The Church has been uniting her praises to those which the angels and her own elect children have been giving to God in heaven. In this way, she already begins to do, here below, what is destined to occupy her for all eternity. United to the praises of the man-God, this praise, the prayer of the Church, becomes divine and the Liturgy of the earth becomes one with that of the celestial hierarchies in the Court of Christ, echoing that everlasting praise which springs forth from the furnace of infinite love which is the Most Holy Trinity."
— Dom Jean-Baptist Chautard, p. 217
Soul of the Apostolate


September 14th is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (also known as the Triumph of the Cross). Early in the 4th century St. Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the actual locations where the events of Jesus' life took place. She found the True Cross which immediately became an object of veneration for the Church. Constantine built a basilica on Calvary marking the site of the Crucifixion and dedicated it on this day in the year 335 A.D. The basilica was later destroyed by the Persians and the true cross was stolen. This day also marks the recovery of the cross by Emperor Heraclius II who returned it to Jerusalem, carrying it on his own back and restoring it to the Church in 629 A.D.

"We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28


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Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Early in the fourth century, Saint Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy places of Christ's life. She razed the second-century Temple of Aphrodite, which tradition held was built over the Savior's tomb, and her son built the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher on that spot. During the excavation, workers found three crosses. Legend has it that the one on which Jesus died was identified when its touch healed a dying woman.

The cross immediately became an object of veneration. At a Good Friday celebration in Jerusalem toward the end of the fourth century, according to an eyewitness, the wood was taken out of its silver container and placed on a table together with the inscription Pilate ordered placed above Jesus' head: Then "all the people pass through one by one; all of them bow down, touching the cross and the inscription, first with their foreheads, then with their eyes; and, after kissing the cross, they move on."

To this day, the Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox alike, celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on the September anniversary of the basilica's dedication. The feast entered the Western calendar in the seventh century after Emperor Heraclius recovered the cross from the Persians, who had carried it off in 614, 15 years earlier. According to the story, the emperor intended to carry the cross back into Jerusalem himself, but was unable to move forward until he took off his imperial garb and became a barefoot pilgrim.

The cross is today the universal image of Christian belief. Countless generations of artists have turned it into a thing of beauty to be carried in procession or worn as jewelry. To the eyes of the first Christians, it had no beauty. It stood outside too many city walls, decorated only with decaying corpses, as a threat to anyone who defied Rome's authority—including Christians who refused sacrifice to Roman gods. Although believers spoke of the cross as the instrument of salvation, it seldom appeared in Christian art unless disguised as an anchor or the Chi-Rho until after Constantine's edict of toleration.


Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Reading 1 Nm 21:4b-9

With their patience worn out by the journey,
the people complained against God and Moses,
"Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert,
where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!"

In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents,
which bit the people so that many of them died.
Then the people came to Moses and said,
"We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you.
Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us."
So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
"Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live."
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole,
and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent
looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 78:1bc-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38
R. (see 7b) Do not forget the works of the Lord!
Hearken, my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable,
I will utter mysteries from of old.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
While he slew them they sought him
and inquired after God again,
Remembering that God was their rock
and the Most High God, their redeemer.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
But they flattered him with their mouths
and lied to him with their tongues,
Though their hearts were not steadfast toward him,
nor were they faithful to his covenant.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
But he, being merciful, forgave their sin
and destroyed them not;
Often he turned back his anger
and let none of his wrath be roused.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!

Reading 2 Phil 2:6-11

Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your Cross you have redeemed the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 3:13-17

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
"No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."

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.


Meditation: John 3:13-17

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Feast)

Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up. (John 3:14)

There is a glorious, divine irony in today's feast: a cruel instrument of suffering and death has been transformed into a grace-filled instrument of healing and resurrection.

We see the irony in today's first reading. The Israelites had begun complaining and accusing God of abandoning them during their journey toward the Promised Land. Ultimately, all the venom in their words and hearts manifested itself in the form of poisonous serpents that attacked them. Their own sin fell back upon them and trapped them in death and destruction. That's one irony: the people's complaining made their situation worse.

Then, when the people begged God to save them, he told them to gaze on an image of a serpent. They had to fix their eyes on a symbol of their own sin and unbelief if they wanted to be set free from the consequences of their sin. That's another irony: looking at their sin brought them salvation.

In the Gospel, Jesus promises Nicodemus that the Son of Man must be "lifted up" so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life (John 3:14). He promises salvation to everyone who comes face-to-face with the consequences of their own sin. Yes, I helped crucify him. It was my own violence, my own hatred, my own self-centeredness and fallen desires that put him up there.

This is the final glorious irony. When we exalt the cross—when we lift it up and gaze on it—we experience God's love and his healing. We see that it wasn't just our sin that put Jesus there; it was also his love. It wasn't just our enmity; it was his friendship. It wasn't just our selfishness; it was his selflessness. We thought we were casting him out of our lives, when really he was giving himself to us in the fullest way possible.

Jesus could have stopped his death at any point, but he didn't. He let us lift him up in death so that he could raise us up to eternal life.

Let's all exalt the cross in our hearts today.

"We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your cross you have redeemed the world." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 78:1-2, 34-38
Philippians 2:6-11


"With their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses..."
They said they were disgusted with the wretched food.
They complained. They wanted their old lives back. They were tired of following Moses through the desert. They were tired of suffering.
They were tired of "not getting anything out of it" just like a Holy Mass. Disgusted with the food. They'd rather have the pleasure although it'd make them slaves again. So does God give them what they want? No. He sends punishment for calling His food disgusting and wretched. You will learn a hard lesson. You will learn to obey. Things could go much worse if you do not turn to God. So, Moses puts a serpent on a pole for them to see their curse. Some saw, and were saved. Some chose not to, and died.

Protestants, some, detest the message of the cross that we believe. They don't like a crucifix, they don't like the idea of the eternal sacrifice of the Mass. Many Catholics leave the faith saying "I get nothing out of it". And turn away from the cross.

" Do not forget the works of the Lord! But he, being merciful, forgave their sin
and destroyed them not; Often he turned back his anger and let none of his wrath be roused." Jesus came. Forgave sin and continues to forgive. But some don't want forgiveness. They believe they have nothing to be forgiven. They don't need confession. They don't need Jesus. A heart attack won't even affect them. Who is the wretched person? Why would you call the Almighty's offer....wretched?

In comes our Lord, direct from our Almighty Father: " ...just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life." But first He said He has come from Heaven. And what kind of throne did we have ready for Him? His crib was a wooden feeding trough for animals. We threw Him with animals. And for his dying moments, he was given a wooden cross to die on. Pretty mean huh? But what about you and what about now? What place are you setting for Him?

As I meditated on today's word, a message came inside, this interior, and it went like this:
me: "why did Jesus come to die for the world?"
message: "because...nobody else would do it".
Nobody else would do what He did.
Nobody would tend to the widows, the poor, the lame, the gentiles. These people were ousted and used and abused. Nobody cared anymore. The temple was a place. The Jewish leaders had it tight with Roman leaders. How else did they get their way on crucifying an innocent man? Nobody else knew mercy. At one time they knew, but it got lost in generations.

Mercy starts in you.
They say the Virgin of Guadalupe statue in Hobbs NM has wept again. Last time it was before the scandal broke out. She cries again. Time to hit our knees. She cries because she cares.

When it becomes all about you, there is no room for love...and God is love.
Pride makes you focus on yourself.
We are suffering a crisis...of purity and faith.
Let it be known on this day of the Exaltation of the Cross, only the humble are allowed to die for God.
Let it be known as I prophecy in the name of our Lord, Now Is the Time to repent and believe.

It is time for saints to arise.
And arise with our Lord forever



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