As he reflects on the 21st anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001 and prepares for the upcoming feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross, Fr. Matthew Howell talks about the USA’s “War on Terror” which was declared on by President Bush on September 20, 2001. He states that while 9/11 was a major event, the resurrection of Christ remains the only event that truly changed the world. He then offers the idea that from the time of the Garden of Eden, the devil has been at war on humanity through the fear of death and the sting of sin, but that God the Father wins the war through perfect love which casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). The Cross, then, is the “trophy invincible” and ultimate weapon in our spiritual war against fear because the sign of the cross is a catalyst to cast fear out through God’s love. Along the way, Fr. Matthew quotes from Psalm 52, 1 John 4:18, John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 15, and Galatians 6.
Brethren, see with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that would compel you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who receive circumcision do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh. But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God. Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.
The Lord said, “No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.