Readings for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross / September 14

First Reading
Nm 21:4b–9

Whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

A reading from the Book of Numbers

With their patience worn out by the journey,
   the people complained against God and Moses,
“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert,
   where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!”

In punishment the Lord sent among the people saraph serpents,
   which bit the people so that many of them died.
Then the people came to Moses and said,
   “We have sinned in complaining against the Lord and you.
Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us.”
So Moses prayed for the people, and the Lord said to Moses,
   “Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
   and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live.”
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole,
   and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent
   looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 78:1bc-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38

R. :

R. (see 7b) Do not forget the works of the Lord!

Hearken, my people, to my teaching;
   incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable,
   I will utter mysteries from of old.

R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!

While he slew them they sought him
   and inquired after God again,
Remembering that God was their rock
   and the Most High God, their redeemer.

R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!

But they flattered him with their mouths
   and lied to him with their tongues,
Though their hearts were not steadfast toward him,
   nor were they faithful to his covenant.

R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!

But he, being merciful, forgave their sin
   and destroyed them not;
Often he turned back his anger
   and let none of his wrath be roused.

R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!

Second Reading
Phil 2:6–11

He humbled himself; because of this God greatly exalted him.

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians

Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
   did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
   taking the form of a slave,
   coming in human likeness;
   and found human in appearance,
   he humbled himself,
   becoming obedient to death,
   even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
   and bestowed on him the name
   that is above every name,
   that at the name of Jesus
   every knee should bend,
   of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
   and every tongue confess that
   Jesus Christ is Lord,
   to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel Acclamation

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your Cross you have redeemed the world.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Jn 3:13–17

So the Son of Man must be lifted up.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“No one has gone up to heaven
   except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
   so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
   so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
   so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
   but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
   but that the world might be saved through him.

At the end of the Gospel, the Deacon, or the Priest, acclaims:

The Gospel of the Lord.

All reply:

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Then he kisses the book, saying quietly:

Through the words of the Gospel
may our sins be wiped away.

Homilies / Gospel Reflection


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