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The Gospel Lesson for the Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross is from Mark 8:34-9:1. It is one of the most poignant Feasts of the Church and probably the most difficult for us to understand.

Jesus suffered intensely and deeply on account of human sin. He suffered without complaint. It is from the very Cross that He prayed to the Father: “Forgiveness them Father! They don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). He received blows unjustly and our wounds of sin were healed. He endured a criminal death and we were granted the gift of life. The Cross which we venerate on this the third Sunday of Great Lent means that we can turn to God with repentance but without having to face an unplayable debt.

We, as the followers of Christ, are assured that we will find grace and forgiveness before God. The Cross is a gift we receive simply by our faith, bestowing innumerable blessings upon us on the basis of what God has already done in Christ. This is the message of the Cross which is the source of our joy and gladness.

On this day and during the week of the Cross we are asked to look ahead to our goal of Pascha. The Cross according to the Holy Fathers of the Church gives us comfort and spiritual strength, to prepare us and equip us, with eagerness to complete the remaining journey towards Christ’s Glorious Resurrection.

May the Cross, emblematic of His victory over sin and death, grant unto us the light of the Resurrection. Amen!

Holy Cross