Why is the cross of Christ so "exalted" in the Christian tradition? Because it is the source of the disciple's salvation. Jesus predicts his own elevation on the cross in John 3, relating it to Moses' holding aloft a bronze serpent in the desert: "whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live" (Num 21:9). The cross is the source of healing for Christians, because through it Jesus was able to recapitulate the whole history of the human race, marred by sin through disobeying the will of God for their good: "and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross" (Phil 2:8). The Christian disciple has heard that he or she is to take up the cross and follow Jesus, imitating his obedience to what is right and just, experiencing transformation and healing, becoming oriented towards the salvation which Jesus has promised. The disciple who truly carries the cross is one that others can "look upon" for healing, inviting them into the glory that Jesus attained only through his saving sacrifice.
-Given at the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel (UST-St. Paul) on September 14, 2020, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross