(Mark. 8, 34 – 9, 1)
The Cross is not plain.
It has something sweet, joy
Today, the third Sunday of Great Lent, the Church dedicates its adoration to the Holy Cross. We worship the Cross, but with the Cross there are also always flowers. There, the place where Christ was crucified, there was a garden with basil and flowers. For this reason, wherever the Cross is, there is also the basil and usually flowers. The Cross isn’t plain, and drab, but it also has something sweet, something very joyful. This is not accidental. Christ felt pain, was afflicted, poured out his blood, but within all of this pain came the salvation of man, came joy. And all of this came from God for the salvation, for the joy, of man.
Man, however, must pick up his cross. And man’s Cross isn’t simply life’s difficulties, though these help you to grieve for sin. The more someone is crucified, is in pain, and grieves for his sin, the more grace comes: he is set free, is liberated. These go together. It is necessary, however, for man to take the right stance. To accept whatever cross God allows, and to take refuge in Christ, in order to help him lift his Cross with the hope of salvation. However much man doesn’t want to suffer, to hurt, or to be crucified together with Christ, this much is he also unhappy.
On this day, we venerate the Cross. We become one with Christ, and in this way we gain strength to continue on, in order to traverse the remaining weeks of Great Lent.
Holy Hesychasterion “The Nativity of Theotokos” Publications.
Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos