The Exaltation of the Holy Cross - Feast
"So must the Son of Man be lifted up..."
Our Lord Jesus Christ is on the Cross today and we are celebrating this so that you might realize that the cross is indeed a spiritual celebration. In former times the cross represented a sentence, now it has become an object of honor. Formerly a symbol of punishment, it is now the principle of our salvation. For it is the source of innumerable blessings for us: it has freed us from error so as to be illumined in the darkness and reconciled with God. We had become his enemies and foreigners from far away and it has given us his friendship and brought us close to him. It is for us the destruction of enmity, the promise of peace, the treasure house of a thousand blessings.
Thanks to the Cross we will no longer go astray in the desert for we know the right path. We will no longer live outside the royal palace for we have found the door. We do not fear the flaming darts of the devil for we have found the spring. Thanks to it we are no longer living in widowhood since we have found our Spouse again. We have no fear of the wolf for we have the good shepherd. Thanks to the Cross we do not dread the usurper since we sit at the King’s side.
This is why we rejoice as we celebrate the memory of the Cross. Saint Paul himself invites us to the feast in honor of the Cross: "let us celebrate the feast, then, he says, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (1Cor 5,8). And he gave us the reason for this when he said: "For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed" (1Cor 5,7).
Saint John Chrysostom