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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflections for September 17

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

September 17, 2017 — Feast of The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

John 3:13-17
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

Dad was teaching his little daughter the Sign of the Cross, and gave her a quiz:. He began, “In the name of the?” and the girl replied, “Father.” “And of the?” “Son.” “And of the?” “Holy Spirit.” Then he said, “A...?” She answered “B-C-D...”

The cross represents the greatest act of love in history, Christ’s death for our salvation We celebrate that love every September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

Jesus says in the Gospel that he would be lifted up (on the cross) that we might have eternal life. Just as the Jews recalled the Old Covenant image of the bronze serpent (today’s first reading), so we should remember the image of Christ on the cross. We should also note three special ways it applies to our lives...

1) The Cross and the Eucharist – The Mass takes us to the cross, on which Jesus stretched out his arms to bring us close to himself and one another. The vertical beam of the cross directs our gaze to heaven, opened for us by Christ’s death and Resurrection, made present at every Mass.

2) The Cross of Jesus and our “crosses” – Blessed crucifixes invite us to join our sufferings to Christ’s, and remind us to live in union with him. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:19).

3) The Sign of the Cross – Making the Sign of the Cross goes back to the early days of Christianity. At first, the cross was traced on the forehead. Then people also made the Sign of the Cross from the forehead to the heart to the shoulders, as we do today. The Sign of the Cross is a great way to begin our day, prayers, and activities (Catechism, 2157).  

We should bless others with the Sign of the Cross. At the baptism of infants, parents and godparents trace the cross on the forehead of the child. Many parents trace the cross on the heads of their children before they  leave the house or retire. This beautiful practice is a simple but powerful prayer every parent and grandparent should use. Remember, though, that the Sign of the Cross ends, not with “A-B-C-D,” but with “A-men!”


Read last week's reflection.