The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. Today, we are partaking in the Holy Gifts and uniting ourselves with God. For who can do us part with the Love of God? What troubles or disasters can stand between us? I can endure all this through Him who gives me strength (Philippians 4: 13).
The feast of the Exaltation of the Cross takes a special place among the Christian feasts. It is a great occasion to reflect on eternity, the victory of life over death, and the triumph of God's love over the hatred and deformity of this world.
But who comes to bow to the Cross these days? How many people came to venerate it in our city of two million people? We are saying this with regret, not condemnation. How many of us have never said to ourselves, "Christ has defeated death, do I still have to bow to His Cross?" How many have never thought, "Christ overcame death, so we need to live in the moment, to fulfil our plans and ideas."
This world presents us with a great temptation - to build a world of universal happiness where everyone would live in abundance and contentment. A world with no God, Cross or blood. A world that is free from all suffering, in which all pains would be treated with painkillers. In it, there would be no need to lower our self-respect by bowing to anyone. All its people would see themselves as proud masters of the universe.
But for the proud master of the universe, a life without Christ would transform love into a set of basic instincts. Inevitably, he will ask himself "Where do I go next?" and will find no answers. Disinterested, having lost the ability to dream and generate new ideas, and weary of the passing worldly pleasures, he will inevitably ask himself, "what else do I have to live for?"
There is a struggle going on for our souls. The angels rejoice at every soul that repents and finds God. It is a difficult struggle. We know how hard it is to keep our faith and trust in the Lord when nothing seems to work in our lives. As we carry our cross in our worldly lives, we sometimes feel as if we cannot go on any longer. But Christ says to us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11.28). "Come to me," he calls out to each of us. He will go looking for one sheep that wandered off. We are like that sheep that took the wrong path at some point and ended up in the wrong place. He wants us all to be together, as one flock of Jesus Christ and does not let a single one of us perish.
My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ! May you all grow stronger in your faith and understanding. Where there is no God, there is no life. Where there is no Christ, there is no truth. There is no truth outside of Christ.
Wearing our Cross is a great responsibility. May we all endure and not squander our lives, minds, or lives. May we all pray for our loved ones, so they can join us at Church as we venerate His Holy Cross.
God help us all!
At some point, we will become weak, only to find out that we had neglected our spirits and not prepared them for the life to come. Therefore, as we call for God's help, we should not ask him to turn around the circumstances of our lives.
Today, we commemorate the Icon of the Holy Theotokos "Joy of All Who Sorrow". It sends us a powerful message: joys and sorrows are two sides of the same coin.
Our hardships are a part of our spiritual struggle. They are given to us to learn that our future is not made by our hands, but by God's love
Just one person corrupted by sin may corrupt many other people and things around him. There is no paradise on this earth, but its landscapes and scenery still give us comfort. They are creations of our Lord, and they make visible to us His Divine…
At some point in our lives, we will find God’s grace and make steady progress in our spiritual and worldly lives. Our hearts will rejoice. Hope and faith will dwell in them, and there will be no room for despair.
We long for miracles but forget that Christ is near and ready to say to us "Stand up, pick up your mat and walk! Walk after me."
When we go to Church and trust our Lord, we have no reason to complain. So let us live as Christians and thank the Lord in our prayers.
We are working hard to make our lives better to the best of our ability. We are not wrong. Yet, in a sense, our hard work and our lives tend to lose focus, and we risk losing our direction by not following the goals given to us by our Lord.