Re the Daily Office Readings September 14 Anno Domini 2020

Photo by Armando Castillejos

Holy Cross Day

The Lessons: Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:11-17

AD 335: the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was dedicated on this date, a fitting day to celebrate the victory of the cross. I like what James Kiefer does in his reflection at Mission St Clair, recalling Tertullian’s report that “Christians seldom do anything significant without making the sign of the cross” (early 3rd century). So we might take the day as an opportunity to wonder about the many possible meanings associated with crossing oneself. The sign as a starting gun for violence—in Jesus’ Name, of course—we probably want to stay away from that one, even in an election year. Kiefer recalls Minucius Felix (late 2nd century) on the ubiquity of the sign, e.g., a ship’s mast and spar. That one resonates: I sign myself: Jesus has claimed this boat. There will be storms; Jesus is in the boat.

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