The Exaltation of the Cross, First Reading: Extracted from the Book of Numbers 21:4-9
On the way through the wilderness the people lost patience.
They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? For there is neither bread nor water here; we are sick of this unsatisfying food.’
At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel.
The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.’
Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, ‘Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.’
So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.
What the Israelites had been eating that they named as “unsatisfying food”?
See here, extracted from Exodus 16:
11 Yahweh then spoke to Moses and said,
12 'I have heard the Israelites' complaints. Speak to them as follows, "At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will have bread to your heart's content, and then you will know that I am Yahweh your God." '
13 That evening, quails flew in and covered the camp, and next morning there was a layer of dew all round the camp.
14 When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the desert was something fine and granular, as fine as hoarfrost on the ground.
15 As soon as the Israelites saw this, they said to one another, 'What is that ?' not knowing what it was. 'That', Moses told them, 'is the food which Yahweh has given you to eat.
31 The House of Israel named it 'manna'. It was like coriander seed; it was white and its taste was like that of wafers made with honey.
35 The Israelites ate manna for 40 years, up to the time they reached inhabited country: they ate manna up to the time they reached the frontiers of Canaan.
What the Israelites had been drinking during this period?
See here, extracted from Exodus 17:
5 Yahweh then said to Moses, 'Go on ahead of the people, taking some of the elders of Israel with you; in your hand take the staff with which you struck the River, and go.
6 I shall be waiting for you there on the rock (at Horeb). Strike the rock, and water will come out for the people to drink.' This was what Moses did, with the elders of Israel looking on.
7 He gave the place the names Massah and Meribah because of the Israelites' contentiousness and because they put Yahweh to the test by saying, 'Is Yahweh with us, or not?'
See Encouragements-7 for more details
The Exaltation of the Cross, Responsorial: Psalm 78:1-2, 34-38
Response: Never forget the deeds of the Lord.
Give heed, my people, to my teaching; turn your ear to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable and reveal hidden lessons of the past.
When he slew them then they would seek him, return and seek him in earnest.
They would remember that God was their rock, God the Most High their redeemer.
But the words they spoke were mere flattery; they lied to him with their lips.
For their hearts were not truly with him; they were not faithful to his covenant.
Yet he who is full of compassion forgave them their sin and spared them.
So often he held back his anger when he might have stirred up his rage.
The Exaltation of the Cross, Second Reading:
Extracted from the letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians 2:6-11
His state was divine, yet Christ Jesus did not cling to his equality with God
but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave
and became as men are; and being as all men are,
he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross.
But God raised him high and gave him the name
which is above all other names so that all beings
in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld,
should bend the knee at the name of Jesus and that every tongue should acclaim
Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
because by your cross you have redeemed the world.
The Exaltation of the Cross, Gospel Reading: Extracted from the holy Gospel according to John 3:13-17
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
‘No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven,
the Son of Man who is in heaven;
and the Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.’
It was the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on 14 September 2014.
The Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on that day are shown above:
First Reading: Numbers 21:4-9,
Responsorial: Psalm 78:1-2, 34-38,
Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11 &
Gospel Reading: John 3:13-17.
We have extracted the Homilies of Saint Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:
Please refer to next page.