This Sunday April 4, 2021 we Orthodox Christians celebrate the Veneration of the Cross. The Cross is presented to us today for refreshment and support, for remembrance of the passion of Our Lord and most of all for encouragement to continue our journey to the precious and holy Pascha of Our Lord.
Lent is a long journey, to some it can be an arduous and difficult path, with many becoming tired but after a short period of time we become rejuvenated and invigorated, joyfully continuing on our journey to completion. This short moment of rest and rejuvenation is the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross for us. It affords us the opportunity to renew our spiritual strength with joy and gladness to make us eager to finish the race.
This week marks the midpoint of Great Lent, the light of the Resurrection that the Cross is not only a symbol of sacrifice and suffering but more so a symbol of victory and life. As we venerate the Cross of Christ placed within our midst in the center of our churches, we actually celebrate His victory over sin and death. It transforms mourning into rejoicing, the cruel weapon of torture and death of the time of old becomes rather an Icon of refreshment and joy!
The words of the special hymn of this day says it all, “before thy cross we bow down and worship, O Master, and thy holy Resurrection, we glorify”. By this hymn which we have heard sung since our childhood, we recognize that the Cross and the Resurrection of Christ are inseparable. By venerating the Cross of Christ, we glorify His saving death, which is the source of forgiveness and reconciliation with God.
My dear people let us come to Church this Sunday to bow down before the Holy Cross which teaches us to be able to forgive the many hurts that life brings our way and let us never forget that our faith proclaims that Christ died so that we may live! What great news! The gift of new and abundant life in the Lord!