Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Son of man; as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. For God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.
In these few words the message of the gospel is summed up to the essential. God the Father deserves all honor and his beloved Son, who has come to glorify his Father and redeem the people.
Looking at the cross of our Lord, we should first look with Jesus to the love of our Heavenly Father. Everything goes out of him and our Lord Jesus wants us to internalize this. Jesus was moved by the love of the Father to come to us and he acted on behalf of this love.
The motive of our Father is clearly stated: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” With that we look deeply into the heart of our father.
Often the world is not the place where God’s worship and loving obedience are implanted, but often enough the place of God’s rejection, a world of sin and rebellion. So God sends his Son into a world that is hostile to Him, realizing for himself what the Lord is telling us about the love of enemies in the Sermon on the Mount (cf. Lk 6,27).
God looks at man in a special way. He looks at him as at his lost sheep, which has lost its way. He wants to save it from eternal damnation. Without ignoring the ugliness and abomination of sin, his love is always focused on the salvation of man. It’s like kissing a leper who is offending and frightening in his outward appearance, but love overcomes everything and gives this great gesture of affection.
So does the love of God kiss us in which the Holy One of God, the Son of God Himself, comes to us humans made leprous by sin. The guilt of man is forgiven, and the Holy Ghost now cleanses our leprosy in depth.
If we look at the cross from the aspect of the love of God, it remains a terrible act that man in his blindness is able to condemn and kill God himself in his Son. But the act of wickedness is far overcome in that the Lord, with his voluntary death, offers salvation to humanity. The act of love outshines the act of hatred that becomes visible at the cross.
The salvific will of God always outshines all that the wickedness of the devil with his deluded helpers may devise and execute. The cross becomes a sign of the triumph of love. Therefore, it should also be set up visibly everywhere in the world as a sign that God’s love will prevail. It only becomes a kind of threat if truth and love are not sought as the highest good, but power for own.
The church must remain true to its mission to proclaim Jesus as the Savior of the world. It is an honor and a sacred commitment to her. This must never be clouded by secular speculation, theological absurdities, fear of man, or errors. Especially in the cross God’s wisdom shines so strongly that Paul wanted to proclaim only the crucified (cf. 1 Cor 1,18).
And indeed, it is the unsurpassable victory of God’s love over the darkness of sin. So we want to thank, the Lord in all reverence and adoration and in our humble serving.