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Reflection on the Gospel-The Triumph of the Cross (John 3:13-17)

Today’s feast of the Triumph or Exaltation of the Holy Cross commemorates the tradition that Empress Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, discovered the remains of the true Cross in Jerusalem in the 4th century CE. This ‘discovery’ has captured the imagination of Christians through the ages. From earliest times, the Cross has been a sign of contradiction. It was initially a cause of embarrassment and shame, a reminder that the Romans executed Jesus as a common criminal. For John, it is a sign of the God’s great love for the world, evoking both the death of Jesus and his exultation in glory. It was to become the most distinctive of all Christian symbols.