We will sometimes interrupt our usual cycle of Sundays for this Feast, which therefore also interrupts the usual pattern of readings. Today all the readings harmonise with the central theme, which is, of course, the cross. There are many ways of looking at the cross: as an instrument of torture and shame, as an emblem of death and defeat. But in the Church there has always been a way of looking at the cross which the world cannot under­stand: it is to see it as a sign of victory, of triumph, as a banner or standard of the forces of good and light as Jesus defeats the prince of this world by his death. The early Church depicted the cross as a richly jewelled emblem of victory; when the faithful looked at this jewelled cross, they knew that it was the sign of God’s love and the Victory over sin and death that had been won for them.

First Reading: Numbers 21: 4-9

Res: Never forget the deeds of the Lord

Second Reading: Philippians 2: 6-11

Gospel: John 3: 13-17

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