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All Issues > Volume 17, Issue 5

<< Friday, September 14, 2001 >> Triumph of the Cross
Numbers 21:4-9
Philippians 2:6-11

View Readings
Psalm 78:1-2, 34-38
John 3:13-17

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"Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that all who believe may have eternal life in Him." —John 3:14-15

The cross was a means of executing criminals. It was like the electric chair or lethal injection. Consequently, it would have seemed peculiar to use the expression "the triumph of the cross." It would be like using the expression "the triumph of the electric chair."

Nevertheless, the cross does triumph because the cross was not only a means of execution but also an altar of sacrifice. On the cross, Jesus "offered Himself up unblemished to God" (Heb 9:14). "We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb 10:10). "By one offering He has forever perfected those who are being sanctified" (Heb 10:14).

The cross is triumphant because the sacrifice on it transcends space and time, for the Priest and the Sacrifice on the cross is Jesus, God, Who transcends space and time. Thus, Jesus' atoning sacrifice on the altar of the cross is for all people, in all places, for all time.

The triumph of the cross is made present and perpetuated in the sacrifice of the Mass. The altar in church is in continuity with the altar of the cross. Consequently, go to Mass today and every day. Let the triumph of the cross be applied to your present, personal, and practical circumstances. Through the sacrifice of the Mass, make every day the triumph of the cross in your life.

Prayer: Father, keep me near the cross.
Promise: "At Jesus' name every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father: JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!" —Phil 2:10-11
Praise: "We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world" (St. Francis of Assisi).
Nihil obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, February 13, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 20, 2001
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 17, Issue 5
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