Every September 14, the Church celebrates the universal feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.
It is a millennial festival, and of great relevance for all Christians. From the events that took place since the first Holy Week, the Cross became the symbol par excellence for Christians.
What until then had been an element synonymous with torture and death, as a result of the Resurrection of Jesus, becomes a symbol of hope and salvation . In our Municipality, the celebration of this festivity has a greater dimension, because we even have a Brotherhood that especially promotes its cult: The Brotherhood of Denial and Exaltation of the Cross . The sign of the Christian. The Church teaches us in the catechism that the Christian's sign is the sign of the Cross, because when Jesus died on it, it became a sign of hope and victory for all the baptized.
Saint Paul tells us that "...
the language of the Cross is foolish for those who are on the way to perdition, but for us, who have been saved, it is the power of God" (1Co.1,18). As children, when preparing in the parish catechesis to receive First Communion, we learned the basic notions of Christian doctrine contained in the Catechism.
Many of us still remember that it presented its contents in the form of short questions and answers, which we catechumens had to learn. In one of his first lessons he said: What is the sign of the Christian?The sign of the Christian is the Holy Cross.Why is the Holy Cross the sign of the Christian?The Holy Cross is the sign of the Christian because in it Jesus Christ died to redeem men.Why do we make the sign of the Cross?We make the sign of the Cross to show that we are Christians and to ask Jesus Christ to help us in our needs and free us from dangers.Etc etc. As we can see, on the Cross we have the symbol of the very root of Christianity and the synthesis of the entire Gospel message. The origin of this holiday. We have two celebrations throughout the year in honor of the Cross, and the two are closely linked: The first is celebrated on May 3, in memory of the rediscovery of the Cross of Jesus, by the Empress Santa Elena, in the year 326 AD.The second, we celebrate it on September 14, in memory of the day in which the Emperor Heraclius rescued it from the hands of the Persians (who had taken it as spoils of war in 614 AD), in the year 628 AD. Remembering what Pope Saint John Paul II told us: the Exaltation of the Holy Cross "in which one dies to live; to live in God and with God, to live in truth, in freedom and in love, to live forever .
" The meaning of the Cross today. "Then Jesus said to his disciples: Whoever wants to come with me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me" (Mt.16,24) Today we find that our western culture is immersed in a continuous relativism, which tries to make us see that everything is "light", that it no longer takes commitment, that we only have to look for comfort and hedonism, that we must to withdraw from effort, that the desire to improve and the spirit of sacrifice are "old-fashioned" values, etc., etc.
Logically before this panorama, the symbol of the Cross hinders and is rejected, since the values ??that it represents are the opposite.
This ideological tendency tries to remove the Cross from people's lives, but totally forgets that carrying the Cross means carrying the weight of one's life. Pope Benedict XVI presents the Cross to us as the triumph of love over evil and tells us that "The world needs the Cross.
The Cross is not only a private symbol of devotion, it is not only a symbol of belonging to a certain group within of society, and, in its deepest sense, it has nothing to do with the imposition of a creed or a philosophy by force.
" The Cross, he goes on to say, "speaks of hope, it speaks of love, it speaks of the victory of nonviolence over oppression, it speaks of God raising the humble, giving strength to the weak, overcoming division, and overcoming the hatred with love.
A world without the Cross would be a world without hope, a world in which torture and brutality would be out of control, where the weak would be exploited and greed would have the last word.
" Today's holiday invites us in a special way, to stop on our personal journey, and to put ourselves in a position to reflect on what are the values ??that we should really exalt, since they lead us on the path of freedom; and which ones we should reject, as they lead us into a bottomless abyss.