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Working with the Word
Exaltation of the Holy Cross
September 14, 2014

Focusing the Gospel

Key words and phrases: up to heaven, down from heaven, believes in him, perish, eternal life

To the point: "Up" and "down" are words that capture seeming contradic- tions in this gospel and on this feast. The space between up and down, heaven and earth, divinity and humanity is closed by the obedience, self-emptying, and fidelity of the Son. This feast day celebrates that on the cross the Son overcomes these contradictions. We ourselves are drawn into the mystery of the cross as exaltation by our belief in the Son. Our believing bridges the space between God and us, between Life and death, between being saved or perish- ing. How much do we believe?

Connecting the Gospel... the first reading: The Son, by coming "down from heaven" (gospel), "emptied himself" and immersed himself totally in the human condition (sec- ond reading). By his unwavering obedience, all of us are raised up with him through the cross to exaltation. experience: The words "up" and "down" in the gospel point to heaven and earth, which we tend to think of as places. The mystery of this feast and this gospel move us beyond the notion of place to relationship, choice, belief, salvation.

Copyright © 2014 by The Order of St. Benedict, Inc., Collegeville, Minnesota.
All rights reserved.
Used by permission from Liturgical Press, St. John’s Abbey, P.O. Box 7500 Collegeville, Minnesota 56321-7500

Living Liturgy: Spirituality, Celebration, and Catechesis
for Sundays and Solemnities
Year A - 2014, pp. 211.
Joyce Ann Zimmerman, CPPS;
Kathleen Harmon, SND de N;
and Christopher W. Conlon, SM

Living Liturgy 2011

Liturgical Press

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Art by Martin Erspamer, O.S.B.
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C).
Used by permission of Liturgy Training Publications. This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go to:

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