- Sunday, 17 September 2006
Twenty–Fourth Sunday of the Year B
Psalm 115:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
By a happy coincidence, the Word of God today echoes Thursday’s solemn festival of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and carries us more deeply into its mystery. We listened, in the First Reading, to Isaiah’s mysterious prophecy of the Passion of Christ. Like a photograph developed in a darkroom, an image emerged from the sacred page: the portrait of One who goes forward into suffering, fully conscious of what awaits Him, totally abandoned to God who alone can save Him. “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Is 50:6). The adorable Face of the suffering Christ came into focus, the Holy Face that, from the earliest preaching of the Gospel, captivated believers, drawing them irresistibly into the mystery of the Cross.
In the apse of ancient Christian basilicas, it was not uncommon to see an immense cross, worked in shimmering mosaic. The body of Christ