Follow Holy Spirit on social media
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Reading 1 NM 21:4B-9
With their patience worn out by the journey,
the people complained against God and Moses,
“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert,
where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!”
In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents,
which bit the people so that many of them died.
Then the people came to Moses and said,
“We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you.
Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us.”
So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
“Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live.”
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole,
and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent
looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

Reading 2 PHIL 2:6-11
Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel JN 3:13-17
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. 
Take the Gospel to prayer:

The cross - today we wear them made of gold and bedecked with jewels. But the cross receives that glory only because our God took on the humiliation that it originally designed.

This is a day to remember that the cross was a vehicle for suffering. A person was suspended, either by ropes or spikes driven through the hands, and naked. The weight muscles would give up and the weight of the body would come down against the cross. With no support the ribs would break and the person would ultimate suffocate. The process was slow. The victim would suffer the heat of the day or the cold of the night and gnawing of bugs and loose animals that wandered.

This was the fate that Jesus accepted for us. He carried the heavy wood after having been whipped and crowned with thorns. He had lost a great deal of blood before He was nailed to this awful tree, so His death came a bit faster than it might otherwise. But it was no less painful.

All because of His great love for us sinners.

Thank you, Lord, for suffering for my sake. May I take up my crosses, knowing that none of them are as heavy as Yours.