The Triumph of the Holy Cross
The Son of Man must be lifted up
The Word This Week
We will sometimes interrupt our usual cycle of Sundays for this Feast, which therefore also interrupts the usual pattern of readings. Today all the readings harmonise with the central theme, which is, of course, the cross. There are many ways of looking at the cross: as an instrument of torture and shame, as an emblem of death and defeat. But in the Church there has always been a way of looking at the cross which the world cannot understand: it is to see it as a sign of victory, of triumph, as a banner or standard of the forces of good and light as Jesus defeats the prince of this world by his death. The early Church depicted the cross as a richly jewelled emblem of victory; when the faithful looked at this jewelled cross, they knew that it was the sign of God's love and the Victory over sin and death that had been won for them.
Notes for Readers
This story is behind the reference Jesus makes in today's Gospel, when talking with Nicodemus. There is an interesting paradox, which is repeated on
This is a piece of poetry ‑ possibly even a hymn that the earliest communities would have sung together at worship. Each line (as printed in the Lectionary) has one word which is to be mentally underlined. This is what will help you to convey meaning: so it starts:
The state of Jesus Christ was divine,
yet he did not cling
to his equality with God
but emptied himself
to assume the condition of a slave.
Don't emphasise these while reading that would give a very ugly sound to the short lines ‑ but somehow aim for each emphatic word as the main meaning of each short line. The hymn-like quality of this passage becomes more obvious as you run through ‑ especially at the end, as it builds into this glorious outpouring of praise of Jesus, all offered to the glory of God the Father.
Sunday Mass Sheet
This is a two-sided A4 Mass Sheet, which when folded lengthways will give you a thin booklet. Please feel free to download this pdf file and print it out for Parish use.