Dear Friends: Today we celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Sounds rather strange: exalting an instrument of torture and death. Shouldn’t we be focusing more on the teachings and examples of Christ? We should, and if we do, the teachings all lead to the Cross. It’s not a sign of torture and death but one of triumph, victory and new life! The Cross of Jesus Christ is central to our faith. St. Paul exalts the Cross as the occasion of His transformation. We hear in the second reading: “He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” (Phil 6:2) The Cross is not defeat but our restoration to the divine life and dignity the Father intended.
Just like the Israelites of old, on that day in the desert when the seraph serpents (bronze seraph serpent, symbol of medical healing) bring death to many, those who looked upon the seraph serpent mounted on a pole did not die but lived.
Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, raised up, mounted on the Cross of Calvary assures the believer he shall not die but live eternally with our God on high. Do not the arms of Christ stretched wide on the cross hold all that separates us from our God? Jesus’ final words, “It is finished,” signify the death of all that separates us from God and initiate the new creation and the union of God’s desires. We Exalt in the Cross of Jesus!
Next week from September 15-19, the priests of the Archdiocese of St. Louis will join Archbishop Robert J. Carlson for the 2014 Convocation. This meeting occurs once every four years and offers our clergy a unique opportunity for
prayer, reflection and discussion as coworkers, brothers and friends. This year’s Convocation will be facilitated by Catholic Leadership Institute, a leading organization in Roman Catholic pastoral leadership formation of which Archbishop Carlson sits on the Episcopal Advisory Board. Due to the absence of most of our priests, a schedule of daily Masses can be found in the St. Louis Review. Our Lady of Lourdes will celebrate Mass on Monday, Sept. 15, at 6:45 and 8:00 a.m., and on Tuesday through Friday, Mass will be at 8:00 a.m. only. Neighboring parish schedules are listed below.
Please keep Archbishop Carlson and the priests of our archdiocese in your prayers during this special time.
- Gratefully yours, Msgr. REH
Area Parish Service Schedule -September 15-19
St. Joseph’s in Clayton: Communion Services at 8:00 a.m.
Monday-Friday and Mass at 12:00 noon
Christ the King: Communion Services at 6:30 and 8:00 a.m.
Little Flower: Mass at 7:00 a.m. Monday-Friday and School
Mass 8:15 a.m. Wednesday