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All Issues > Volume 24, Issue 5

<< Sunday, September 14, 2008 >> Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Numbers 21:4-9
Philippians 2:6-11

View Readings
Psalm 78:1-2, 34-38
John 3:13-17

Similar Reflections


"...obediently accepting even death, death on a cross!" —Philippians 2:8

Jesus healed a man and then forbade him to tell people He had done the healing (Mk 1:44). Jesus realized people would misunderstand His true identity and label Him as merely a Healer. Jesus multiplied loaves and fishes to feed the multitudes. When He realized people only partially grasped His true identity, calling Him a Prophet and King (Jn 6:14-15), he had to leave that area.

Jesus was arrested, manhandled, and tried before the Sanhedrin. Jesus stood as an accused Prisoner before judges who were determined to find a way to condemn Him to death. In that most ironic scenario, Jesus the condemned proclaimed His true identity. When asked if He was the "Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One...Jesus answered, 'I am' " (Mk 14:61-62). As He was lifted up on His cross, a sign above His head proclaimed His true identity for the world to see: "Jesus the Nazorean the King of the Jews" (Jn 19:19). Jesus wouldn't let His true identity be revealed apart from the context of His crucified suffering. He is the Crucified. He is the great I AM (Ex 3:14; Mk 14:62).

With St. Paul, say: "I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me. I still live my human life, but it is a life of faith in the Son of God" (Gal 2:19-20). We are Christians. We receive our identity in Jesus. Live a crucified, triumphant life in Christ. Take up your cross (Lk 9:23).

Prayer: Jesus, fill me with Your crucified love. May I never shrink from carrying my daily cross.
Promise: "Jesus Christ is Lord!" —Phil 2:11
Praise: "We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world."
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(The themes of God and Country and Spiritual Warfare are presented in the Sept. 29, 30, & Oct 1 retreat on the books of Maccabees. Call 937-587-5464 or 513-373-2397 to register.
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, 2008 through September 30, 2008.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 25, 2008.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 24, Issue 5
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