Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross. With the conquest of Jerusalem in 614, the Persian pagans seized the Holy Cross and carried it to Ctesiphon, their capital. Three years later, the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius invaded Persia (present-day Iran) and recovered it, transporting it back to Jerusalem with utmost solemnity. Thenceforth, the Church has commemorated the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. See also: In Hoc Signo Vinces, and Gospel Commentary, by Msgr. João Scognamligio Clá Dias, EP
St. Maternus, bishop (†Fourth century). First to govern the Archdiocese of Cologne.
St. Peter of Tarentaise, bishop (†1174). Desiring to flee worldly glory, he became a Cistercian and was outstanding for his strict observance of the Rule in the governance of Tamié Abbey. On account of his many qualities, the Pope named him Archbishop of Tarentaise, France.
St. Albert, bishop (†1215). Patriarch of Jerusalem; he gave the hermits of Mount Carmel their Rule. He was killed during a procession in honour of the Holy Cross by a man whom he had admonished for his wicked conduct.
St. Gabriel Taurin Dufresse, bishop and martyr (†1815). Missionary from the Society of the Foreign Missions of Paris, he was beheaded in Chengdu, China, after 40 years of prolific ministry.
St. Notburga of Eben, virgin (†1313). Employed as a cook in the castle of the city of Eben, Austria, she admirably practised charity towards the poor.
Blessed Claude Laplace, priest and martyr (†1794). For his fidelity to the Pope he was imprisoned on a ship in Rochefort during the French Revolution and died of starvation.
First Reading – Nm 21:4b-9
With their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!” In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents, which bit the people so that many of them died. Then the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you. Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses, “Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live.” Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 78:1bc-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38 (R. see 7b)
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
Hearken, my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable,
I will utter mysteries from of old. R.
While he slew them they sought him
and inquired after God again,
Remembering that God was their rock
and the Most High God, their redeemer. R.
But they flattered him with their mouths
and lied to him with their tongues,
Though their hearts were not steadfast toward him,
nor were they faithful to his covenant. R.
and destroyed them not;
Often he turned back his anger
and let none of his wrath be roused. R.
Second Reading – Phil 2:6-11
Brothers and sisters: Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those 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.
Gospel – Jn 3:13-17
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
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.”
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.