Father William Reynolds
Iowa KofC State Chaplain
I prepare this message on September 14, 2017, which is the celebration of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. This formerly was called the “Triumph of the Holy Cross,” a title I much preferred. The current title with the word “Exaltation” does not fall off the tongue (in preaching) as easily as “Triumph,” (four syllables verse two syllables).
In 2014, September 14 fell on a Sunday. Pope Francis, in his Angelus message that day, stated:
“When we turn our gaze to the Cross, where Jesus was nailed”, he continued, “we contemplate the sign of God's infinite love for each one of us, and the root of our salvation. From this Cross there springs the mercy of the Father who embraces the entire world. Through the Cross, the evil one is vanquished and death defeated, we are given life, and hope is restored to us. … The Cross of Jesus is our only true hope! This is why the Church exalts the glorious Cross of Jesus, sign of God's immense love, sign of our salvation, and path to the Resurrection. And this is our hope”.
Our following of the Holy Cross should be something we consider, ponder, and pray about, asking ourselves the challenging questions about our own willingness to follow the Cross of Christ. But the challenge is not just in asking the questions, but in answering the questions, truthfully and honestly.
Another phrase about “picking up the cross” would be “lifting up” the cross. Think about how you are “lifted up,” and think of how you “lift up” others.
Lifted up…….Lifting up….
Parents recall when you lifted up to hold and snuggle your child, and in the love you feel, you know that this was an occasion to see the face of God….
When you fell from your tricycle or bike, and got a bloody knee with stones in your leg, and someone lifted you up from the mess of your fall….
When you parents lifted you and presented you to the Church for baptism….
When you lifted-up a good friend and carried her as a pallbearer to her grave….
When you were lifted up from sorrow and despair by the kind phone call from a friend….
When you lifted up an unborn child in fervent prayer to God that the child will not be aborted, even a child totally unknown to you….
When your smile and kind words lifted up someone who was feeling bullied….
When a soldier lifts up a wounded comrade and carries him to safety….
When a youngster lifts up his handicapped adopted brother and says, ‘He ain’t heavy; he’s my brother.”
Moses lifting up the seraph servant in the desert to relieve the suffering of his people….
Jesus lifted up…………at the presentation in the temple as a child,
…………………………Lifted up on the cross to die for us in hate,
…………………………Lifted up from the grave to resurrected life in love.
The cross is part of God’s saving plan. Don’t run from cross; embrace the cross and find Jesus there.
When we think of medieval knights the word “valor” comes to mind. Let this also come to mind for us Knights of Columbus, in valor embracing the cross, and lifting up others who are also embracing the Cross.