Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 14.09.2022

NUMBERS 21: 4b – 9

In those days: The people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many sons of Israel died. And the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set up as a sign; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it up as a sign; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 78: 1 – 2, 34 – 35, 36 — 37, 38 (R.) 7b

R/. Never forget the deeds of the Lord!

Give ear, my people, to my teaching;
incline your ear to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable
And utter hidden lessons of the past. R/.

When he slew them, then they sought him,
repented and earnestly sought God.
They would remember that God was their rock,
God the Most High their redeemer. R/.

Yet they deceived him with their mouths;
they lied to him with their tongues.
For their hearts were not steadfast towards him;
They were not faithful to his covenant. R/.

Yet he who is full of compassion
Forgave them their sin and spared them.
So often he held back his anger,
and did not stir up all his rage. R/.

SECOND READING
He humbled himself, therefore God has exalted him.
PHILIPPIANS 2: 6 – 11

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, 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.

The Word of the Lord.

ALLELUIA

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

GOSPEL
The Son of man must be lifted up.
JOHN 3: 13 – 17

At that time: Jesus said to Nicodemus, “No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that who ever believes in him may have eternal life.” For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that who ever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

The Gospel of the Lord
REFLECTION: The Glorious Cross of Our Lord!
September 14, 2022

“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.” (John 3:14-15)

What a glorious feast we celebrate today! It’s the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross!

Does the Cross truly make sense? If we could separate ourselves from all we have learned about the Cross of Christ and just look at it from a secular and historical perspective, the Cross is a sign of great tragedy. It’s connected to the story of a man who became quite popular with many, yet was vehemently hated by others. In the end, those who hated this man arranged for His brutal crucifixion. So, from a purely secular point of view, the Cross is an awful thing.

But Christians do not see the Cross from a secular point of view. We see it from the divine perspective. We see Jesus lifted up on the Cross for all to see. We see Him using horrible suffering to eliminate suffering forever. We see Him using death to destroy death itself. Ultimately, we see Jesus become victorious on that Cross and, therefore, forever we see the Cross as an exalted and glorious throne!

Moses’ actions in the desert prefigured the Cross. Many people were dying from snake bites. Therefore, God told Moses to lift up the image of a snake on a pole so that all who looked upon it would be healed. And that’s exactly what happened. Ironically, the snake brought life instead of death!

Suffering occurs throughout our lives in various ways. Perhaps for some it’s daily aches and pains from ill health, and for others it may be on a much deeper level, such as an emotional, personal, relational or spiritual one. Sin, in fact, is the cause of the greatest suffering, so those who struggle deeply with sin in their lives suffer deeply from that sin.

So what is Jesus’ answer? His answer is to turn our gaze to His Cross. We are to look at Him in His misery and suffering and, in that gaze, we are called to see victory with faith. We are called to know that God brings good out of all things, even our suffering. The Father transformed the world eternally through the suffering and death of His only Son. He also wants to transform us in our crosses.

Reflect, today, upon the Cross of Christ. Spend some time gazing upon the crucifix. See in that crucifix the answer to your own daily struggles. Jesus is close to those who suffer, and His strength is available to all those who believe in Him.

PRAYER:
Lord, help me to gaze upon the Cross. Help me to experience in Your own suffering a taste of Your final victory. May I be strengthened and healed as I look upon You. Jesus, I trust in You.

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