September 13, 2020

This month the Church presents us with two feasts that remind us of Jesus’ redemptive work.  These are The Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th and Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15th.  The celebrations view the mystery of our Redemption from the perspectives of both Jesus and Mary respectively.

St. Helen’s discovery of the cross in Jerusalem is the historical basis for the Exaltation of the Cross.  While the Church respects this historical event, she invites us to enter more deeply into what the cross means for the church, especially from the viewpoint of Jesus himself.

Unlike the world in which Jesus lived, he never saw his cross as an instrument of torture and death.  Rather, he viewed the cross as the instrument by which God’s plan for the redemption of the world would be accomplished.  Therefore, the cross was the instrument of glory by which Christ would conquer darkness and sin by which Christ would draw all people to Himself so that those who share in his cross would also share in his resurrection.

Closely allied to Jesus in his redemptive work is His Mother Mary, who throughout His life stood by him as his perfect disciple, holding everything Jesus encountered in her heart.  Saint Bernard tells us that when the sword pierced Jesus’ side, he did not feel it because he was already dead, but Mary felt every bit of the pain in her heart.  It was in this way that she shared in the suffering of her Son Jesus.  Thus, Mary becomes our Mother and model in suffering not only because of her participation in Christ’s sufferings, but also because, through it all, she held firmly to the belief that good would come out of evil through his resurrection.  It is this firm faith, modeled by our heavenly Mother Mary that lifts us up when times get tough.

We offer our prayerful best wishes to the ninth graders who were confirmed last Wednesday evening by Abbot Gary Hoover, O.S.B.  May our young men and women be open to the gifts and opportunities the Spirit gives them to bear witness to the love of God in today’s world.