Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Commentary for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross by Sr. Kathleen Yeadon, OSB

Only in dying is there life. Only in suffering is the possibility of wholeness brought to reality. John’s Gospel speaks: the Son of Man must be lifted up so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.(3:15)

With the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we are invited into one of the most powerful mysteries of life –unselfish love given freely--- transforms our world more than any other force. When we connect our sufferings to the saving power of God, we become part of the redemptive act of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection that washes over our world to renew it.

Because of the example of Jesus generously offering himself in the Incarnation and crucifixion, everything about our lives has the opportunity to be lifted up as a sign to God.

Freely embracing the crosses in our lives gives us a freedom which John Paul concurs in his Splendor of Truth: The Crucified Christ reveals the authentic meaning of freedom: we live it in the total gift of self. (#85) Jesus pours himself freely out on the cross and asks of us no less of a gift back. It is our self giving that unites us with the Trinity that totally is self-giving.

We can translate every action of suffering into an altar of love that creates a resurrection garden where we encounter the Risen Lord.

This feast invites us to be willing to see suffering as the greatest gift of love offered to God. It asks us not to be afraid of suffering but to allow suffering to be a source of redemptive love not only for ourselves but for one another.

We are called to let our lives be signs in the desert-- lifted up ---to direct others to the healing love of God.

For many of us, one major act of suffering is patience and the Prologue gives us the words we need to remember: we may by patience share in the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 4:13) and deserve to have a share also in His kingdom. (

Lift high the cross!

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