Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Third Sunday of the Great Fast--Veneration and Adoration of the Life-Giving Cross

And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, "Whosoever desireth to follow after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever desireth to save his life, shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the Gospels, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

 The way of the Christian in this life is the way of the Cross, but that is not the end.  For as we have been baptized into Christ's death, we are baptized into His Resurrection.  The Cross gives death but also life; The Cross condemns and redeems; The Cross reveals our mortality yet promises Eternal Life; The Cross is not simply some "Not guilty" verdict, but the means to refrain from further and recurring evil; The Cross is not just a mirror, but also a window; The Cross crucifies and resurrects; The Cross is a defeat and victory.

Three weeks now into the fast, our hunger and thirst have begun to take their toll.  But in the midst of our physical pangs, the Cross gives us hope.  Christ did not give up on us; in our struggles, we should not give up on Him.

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