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!
Recently, we commemorated the new martyrs and confessors of Russia who sacrificed themselves for our faith, our ability to come to Church to accept the Body and Blood of Christ and commune in Him.
No one can get to the Kingdom of Heaven without learning to live in the spirit. What a formidable challenge! No one should underestimate its scale. To meet it, we need the daring and courage that come from the Lord.
In the pains of our inner struggle, our new selves are born. Perhaps the moment of this rebirth is what likens us to the proverbial Samaritan woman.
God tells us not to withhold our forgiveness of others, so we may also be forgiven by Him. As we say in our prayer, "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors". The world is fragile, and so are we.
We have two windows on the world - our minds and our hearts. Our eyes and ears tend to see or hear what we want them to. Therefore, we are all learning to pray so we can connect our minds with our hearts.
Let us be inspired. May we see the light in the darkness and defeat evil with our good works and intentions. Let us smile more often and always find something good to say to one another.
The Mother of God is our Mother in Heaven; she intercedes for us and comes to our help throughout our lives. Her love is salvific and everlasting. Mother of all the world's children, she defeated death in her heart.
We should have a purpose to our lives, and do all we can to live up to it. Yet some lives look more like an abandoned corner of a field overgrown with weed. People seem to be living them without a sense of purpose, and some may have given up.