Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

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Lectionary: 638
Read: John 3:13-17

Gospel Summary
John 3:16 is quoted often and many people claim it as their favorite passage in all the Bible. It is where John tells us that God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that those who believed would have eternal life. This passage expresses the essence of God's love for us. It was not that God wanted to whip us into shape by threatening and demanding us. Rather God, more than anything we can know, wants us to come back to him in the same glory as Jesus. So that we might fulfill God's desire, Jesus came to witness how we should live and to show us the deep love God has for us.

Reflection for Families
Sometimes it seems there is no end to the sadness and trouble that surrounds us. We may have friends, neighbors or even family members, who are seriously ill, struggling with relationships, out of work, in prison, or victims of other people's sinfulness. How is it that we don't fall into a pit of despair from which we cannot escape? The answer is in the meaning of today's Gospel. Because God loves us and gave us his only Son so that we might return to God, we do not lose hope. Not because we earned or deserve God's love, but because God loves us so much, we will share God's eternal life.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
The cross reminds us of God's great gift of love for us. In El Salvador, people make crosses that are bright and colorful. The crosses include illustrations that say something about their belief in God and also something about themselves. Using cardstock or some other medium, create a family ÒSalvadorianÓ cross that illustrates your family's beliefs. Let the cross show ways that you experience God's love for your family and ways in which you are grateful for that love.

Discussion Starters
1. When I see Jesus on the cross I am reminded...
2. My life was changed by God's love when...
3. One way I can return this great love God gives me is by...