Why do Catholics exalt the Cross? Today, the Church celebrates the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Dr. Sri explains the history behind this great feast day, and how the Cross reveals the love of Christ and teaches us to lean on our heavenly Father in times of suffering.
Snippet from the Show
Jesus didn’t go to the Cross so we wouldn’t have to, he went to the Cross, so he could live his perfect gift of self giving love in us and through us.
The Story of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross celebrates the discovery of the Holy Cross by St. Helen in 320 AD and the dedication of the basilica and shrine built in 335 AD on Calvary by Constantine to mark the site of the Crucifixion. St. Helen, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, had the pagan temple of Venus that was built right over the location where Jesus was crucified, destroyed in order to excavate the land and find the relics of the Holy Cross. In the excavation, they found the Cross of Christ and as well as the crosses of the two thieves who were crucified next to him. The Bishop of Jerusalem identified the Cross of Christ when a woman was miraculously healed by touching the Holy Cross. Relics of the True Cross can be found today in the Holy Land and in various churches in Rome.
The Significance of the Cross
The Cross is a source of strength and encouragement for us. Jesus wants to meet us at the Cross. While Jesus’ death on the Cross can often seem like a moment of humiliation, suffering,and defeat, it was also a moment of glory for Jesus because he defeated death. Jesus’ death on the Cross was ultimately an act of love on our behalf. Jesus represents us on the Cross by offering a total gift of love to the Father for the forgiveness of our sins. The Cross reveals to us what true love is.
Jesus didn’t go to the Cross so we wouldn’t have to, he went to the Cross so he could live his perfect gift of self giving love in us and through us. The Cross is the place where we meet Jesus profoundly and where we learn to lean on him the most. When we are stripped of everything because of the Cross, Jesus draws near to us in an intimate way. The Cross is a place of victory because when we abandon ourselves completely to Divine providence, God does miraculous things.
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Meet Your Host: Dr. Edward Sri
Dr. Sri is a theologian and the author of several best-selling books. He holds a doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. A founding leader of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), Dr. Sri currently serves as its vice president of formation. He appears regularly on EWTN and resides in Colorado with his wife, Elizabeth, and their eight children.
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