The Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross was celebrated with solemn Holy Mass on Cross Mountain on Sunday, September 12, 2021, traditionally celebrated in Medjugorje on the first Sunday after the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thousands of parishioners and pilgrims from all over the world climbed Cross Mountain this Sunday, to be there for the solemn Holy Mass, to follow the footprints of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world who made paths through rocks and thorns in all of these years.
Assistant parish priest from Citluk, Fr. Goran Azinovic, was the main celebrant and in his homily he spoke about why Jesus chose the cross.
“When man opens his hands he makes a sign of the cross, which became the symbol of crucifixion. Jesus saw what Romans did to his people and he took this sign of humiliation that nobody wanted, so he would express all the love of this world. ‘Deliver us from every evil’ – are the words carved on this cross and the words we say each day. This sacrifice of coming to Cross Mountain you should offer to God. Do not say you are bothered by the sun, for what is that Christianity then. Imagine Christ’ sacrifice, for he was dying for three hours on the cross”, said Fr. Goran.
“Blessed are we for having the cross and the final battle in the world shall be against the cross. When the cross is removed, then Jesus is lost, and while the cross stands upright, Christ is winning and your task is never to be ashamed of the cross”, said Fr. Goran and he gave the examples of Cardinal Stefan Wiszynski and Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, and many other bishops from the communist countries who stood against the communism regime and did not want to renounce the cross at all.
He said that crosses were erected on hills, not in the valleys, and this is the case of this mountain where we need to climb and this cross stands as an example of the living faith.
“We should never renounce the cross, it would all be better if we loved the cross more, if we honoured it more…If the cross is not in the centre of your home, you would not have peace. You do not build the home to enjoy it, but to make it a home of prayer”, said Fr. Goran and reminded us of saying of Bl. Cardinal Stepinac: “When they deprive us of everything, we still have hands that we can put together for prayer.”
“This is a time for our conversion, God is asking that of us, God is calling you and it is not late for you and your family to be saved. There were more challenging times than these, women carried cement on their back to build this cross here, that was a living faith. Woe to us unless we are holy, for God cannot do anything from people who are not holy. Therefore, Jesus, we did not abandon you, even though we wonder away from you often. Save us through your cross and may the cross be glorified in our lives once we depart this world, hoping it would be in holiness”, said Fr. Goran Azinovic in his homily.