_"but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross"(Philippians 2:7-8)_

_*Today the universal Church celebrates the feast of the exaltation of the Holy Cross. It is a feast that reminds us of the good (redemption) that God gave to us through the death of His only begotten Son on the cross.*_

_We see in the first reading of today how the disobedience (sin) of the people of Israel brought death upon them. They spoke against God and Moses because of their impatience and they were bitten by the fiery serpents and began to die._

_*However, realizing their mistakes, they cried out to God for mercy and God showed them mercy and healed them. They were instructed to look at the raised bronze serpent raised in a stake by Moses and those who looked at it were healed.*_

_At the fall of man at the garden of Eden, death came to man, but God at the appointed time sent His Son to come and redeem man and Jesus did it by dying on the cross. The cross is an instrument of torture, but God chose that way for our deliverance and restoration._

_*Jesus by dying on the cross has left us a message as we see in the second reading of today. It is a nessage of humility and obedience which eventually will lead to our exaltation. He humbled himself and became obedient unto death on a cross and God exalted Him. We must learn to adore Jesus who died on the cross and also bear our cross following Him because in the end everything will bring us glory and honour.*_

_Whenever you look at the cross, you must see victory over sin and death, healing and restoration, reconciliation and mercy, deliverance and salvation, breakthrough and upliftment._

_*Jesus has been lifted up for us, we must look up to Him, we must come to Him, we must follow Him for He is the way, the truth and life. He is the true source of redemption. God gave Him to us out of love and in love He died for us, we must learn from Him to obey the Father and strive everyday to stay humble as we share God's love with others.*_

_Good morning dearest one. Smile😊as you do your work and do have a wonderful day. May the Holy Cross of Jesus continue to be for us a sign of hope and protection. Amen. *And may the Almighty God bless you: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.*_

*Meditation:* Numbers 21:4-9/Psalm 78:1-2, 34-38/Philippians 3:13-17

*Watch-Word:* Never forget the deeds of the Lord

_*We adore you, O Christ and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.*_

(Thursday of the Twenty third week in ordinary time. Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross)

*©ï¸ Rev. Fr. Augustine Eleke*