Posted by: fvbcdm | April 17, 2012

Feast of Saint Robert of Chaise-Dieu (17 April 2012)

In the gospel for today’s Mass, we find Our Lord still conversing with Nicodemus who has come to visit Jesus by night.   Our Lord says, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that all who believe may have eternal life in him.”  I doubt that Nicodemus had any inkling that Our Lord was referring to his own death by crucifixion.  But eventually that meaning of Our Lord’s words would become clear when Nicodemus and his friend Joseph of Arimathea took the body of Jesus down from the cross and laid it in the newly-hewn tomb of Joseph.  Our Lord is talking about the history of the world from then on.  Countless millions of Christian believers down through the centuries would look upon him, lifted up on the cross; they would believe in him, hope in him, and achieve their salvation through that faith and hope which would lead to love.  We have crucifixes in our churches, schools, homes, museums, and other locations.  The cross is our most important symbol, the “logo,” as it were, of our Christian faith.  

About the year 1070, St. Bruno established the Carthusian Order of hermit-monks.  Either he or one of his disciples chose as the symbol of their order a very simple drawing of a circle with a cross atop it.  And underneath, the words “The cross stands while the world turns.”  And so it does.  Until the end of time, believers in Our Lord will look to the figure of Christ on the cross as the Hebrews in the desert looked upon the serpent on the raised pole.  The serpent brought healing from the bite of the desert snakes; Our Lord on the cross brings us healing from the death brought by sin.  And with these thoughts in mind, we can pray again during this beautiful Easter season, “We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world!” Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

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