HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE EXALTATION OF THE CROSS
THEME: Simple Gifts
BY: Deacon Bill Frere
HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 14 2022
Gospel – John 3:13-17
Heading out the door this morning and it suddenly dawned on me what a set routine I go through just to leave the house. Wallet? Check! Pen? Yup (and yes, for all my students, it is still a blue pen)! Keys? Check! I am sure we all do it; we all have those ‘necessary’ items that we load up our pockets with before we head out the door. I can still remember my dad and his routine! Besides all the obvious, he never ever left the house without a little spiral notepad and a pencil. He would always be taking notes, checking on his gas mileage, etc.
Over the past year, I have added one other item to my ‘heading out’ routine. It’s a simple little wooden cross. It is made of olive wood and was carved in Bethlehem. I blessed it at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. I say ‘it’ but I really mean ‘them’. I brought back a couple of bags of these little crosses. And whenever I leave the house, I always make sure to have at least one in my pocket. You see, they aren’t for me; they are for anyone I may ‘cross’ paths with throughout the day. They are for those who are in need of a kind word or a compassion gesture. And so I gift them to those who are looking for hope or faith. My goal is always to return home with an empty pocket!
A simple olive wood cross! For non-believer, it remains a sign of shame and pain and death. But for us, it is a sign of love, God’s love for us. A sign of hope! A sign of comfort and courage in the face of life’s difficulties! That is what we celebrate today on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross!