Friday, September 12, 2014

"You say that I am blessed because of this"

Only because 14 September falls on Sunday this year, the Church celebrates the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on a Sunday. It is a fixed feast and so is observed on 14 September every year. One way of telling the importance of a feast such as this is the fact that it "trumps" Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. This means that next week we are free to observe the autumn Ember days on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is an ancient Christian observance and marking St Helena's discovery of the true Cross while in Jerusalem in the early fourth century. It was on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem that sometime in the mid-to-late fourth century that the dramatic conversion of St Mary of Egypt happened. Her liturgical memorial is observed on 1 April, which I find fitting. The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross did not become a Western observance until the seventh century. An indication of how ancient is this celebration is that Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, and Lutherans all observe on the same. After all, what binds Christians more closely together than the Cross of Christ? As St Paul wrote in his First Letter to the Corinthians:
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Cor 1:18)




So, in light of the fact that a few weeks ago I preached on Jesus' teaching about the necessity for anyone who would follow Him to take to die to self, live for others for His sake as the way to take up the Cross and the fact that this Sunday, 14 September, we'll celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, our Friday traditio is Audrey Assad's song "Carry Me" off her amazing The House You're Building album. I know, subtle, huh?



And we all falter
'cause we are broken
We're all just tryin' to
turn the shadows into light

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