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Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross

En español

General Intercessions: [English PDF]
 

Celebrant: God has given us his only Son for our salvation. Therefore, we can hope that he will likewise fulfill all our other needs. We now present those needs to him with confidence.

Deacon/Lector:

That the Church may lift high the Cross of Christ, proclaiming forgiveness and redemption in him alone, we pray to the Lord...

That world leaders may look upon the Son of God, believe in him, and take hold of the peace and justice that only he can bring, we pray to the Lord...

That all whose lives are marked by suffering may discover the saving power of the cross of Christ, and be victorious in all their trials, we pray to the Lord...

That those who embrace the cross as they work for justice for the poor, the oppressed, and the unborn, may find strength and success in their work, we pray to the Lord…

That the sick may be blessed with patience during the difficult parts of their journey in life, we pray to the Lord...

That all who have died may experience the eternal life won by the cross of Christ, we pray to the Lord...

Celebrant:

Father, We have looked upon your Son And have believed in him. As you grant our petitions, Grant us above all The eternal life which is found only in Jesus, Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Bulletin Insert:
 

Abortion and the Church

“When Catholics oppose abortion, they do so not because of some special Catholic religious doctrine or simply because the church says so. Rather, the church teaches abortion is wrong because it already is. Abortion violates the universal natural law by abusing the inherent human rights of the unborn child. The injustice of genocide, oppressing the poor, the killing unborn children is not a matter of religious doctrine. It’s a matter of natural law.” – Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, Render Unto Caesar (2008), p. 83.

Homily Suggestions:
 

Nm 21:4b-9
Phil 2:6-11
Jn 3:13-17

This Feast ties in easily with pro-life themes, because the lesson of the Cross is the antidote to the perversion of autonomy that lies at the heart of the culture of death.

“Pro-choice” is an exaltation of self; the cross is the denial of self. “Pro-choice” is the assertion of oneself; the cross is the emptying of oneself. “Pro-choice” says we can lift ourselves up; the cross says that we are obedient and that God lifts us up.

The war between the culture of life and the culture of death did not begin after Roe v. Wade, although it did enter a new chapter at that point. It is a cosmic struggle, with its origins at the dawn of human history and, in fact, in the history of the angels. In Revelation 12:7 we read, "War broke out in heaven." War is a terrible thing on earth. What must it mean that war broke out in heaven? This war involved some angels who rebelled against God and became devils. What was it that caused an angel to become a devil? What was the Devil's mistake?

In Isaiah 14, we read a rebuke to the King of Babylon. The passage also has a deeper spiritual meaning and is a glimpse into the thinking of the evil one. It reads, "How you have fallen from the heavens, Oh Lucifer! ... You said in your heart: 'I will scale the heavens; above the stars of God I will set up my throne ... I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will be like the Most High!"' (Is. 14:12-14).

There is the Devil's mistake. He thought that he could be God! This is why the angels who fought him in heaven were led by one named Michael, which means, "Who is like God?"

Michael and his angels won, but the war did not end there. Satan and his legion "were cast down to the earth" (Rev. 12:9), and our troubles began.

The solution to the thinking of the evil one is the thinking of the Holy One. As Isaiah lifted the veil to show us the mind of Lucifer, so St. Paul in today’s second reading lifts the veil to show us the mind of Christ: "Though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave. It was thus that he humbled himself, obediently accepting even death, death on a cross. Therefore God highly exalted him" (Phil. 2:6-9).

This attitude, which St. Paul says must be ours, counteracts the attitude that we exalt ourselves by our own choices. Rather, our exaltation, our freedom, and our fulfillment come from a humble acceptance of and obedience to a truth that we did not create. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil marks the limit of our choices. True freedom is the power to choose what is right, and to love as Christ did, by embracing the cross and giving ourselves away for the good of the other person.


Priests for Life
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Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
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