Homily One on the Exaltation of the Cross of the Lord (St. Luke of Simferopol)

Yesterday at Vespers you contemplated with deep reverence the ceremony of the exaltation of the cross of the Lord.God bless you for this reverence, however is it sufficient? Is it sufficient to see the finishing up of the cross solely 3 times a yr, arousing your awe? Oh no, under no circumstances! Much extra is required. It is critical that the cross of Christ be imprinted in your hearts, and never simply hung in your chest.

In the Middle Ages, there was a Teutonic Order of knights. A big cross was sewn on their cloaks, however with this signal of Christ they shed the blood of darkish Lithuanian and Estonian pagans in streams, forcing them to be baptized with hearth and sword.

Were these crusader knights Christians? No, they weren’t; for with true Christians the cross should be indelibly inscribed on the very coronary heart.

The cross is our banner, the image of our faith. No different faith has such a banner. The Muslims use the crescent moon because the banner of their faith; however what’s holy and nice on this banner?

And the holy cross is the banner of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, this nice banner will precede Him at His second coming to the Last Judgment. It has been revealed by God to individuals greater than as soon as.

Byzantine emperor Constantine the Great, who permitted Christianity within the Roman Empire, going to battle with enemies, noticed a cross within the sky with the phrases written round it: “In this signal thou shalt conquer.”

The well-known commander, the pagan Eustathios Plakidas, attempting to find deer, noticed a deer standing on a cliff with a cross shining like daylight between its horns and heard a voice: “Plakidas! A person of such a life as you can not worship idols, however should confess Christ.” By the looks of the cross, he was known as along with his whole household to baptism and martyrdom for Christ.

In the yr 351, on the seventh of May, at about three o’clock within the afternoon in Jerusalem, the cross of Christ, shining brighter than the daylight, all of a sudden appeared within the sky from Golgotha to the Mount of Olives. This was a foreshadowing of the persecution of Christians by the emperors Valens the Arian and Julian the Apostate.

So, if the cross of Christ is the good banner of Christians and the banner of Christ Himself, then should not it’s indelibly inscribed on our very hearts?

Of course, after all! And that is the good activity of our life.

It shouldn’t be straightforward to kind a cross on the guts; this requires, initially, tireless contemplation of the cross.

Few can tirelessly give it some thought, however no less than as soon as a day, within the morning prayers, saying the superior phrases of the creed: “He was crucified for us beneath Pontius Pilate, suffered, and was buried,” every of you need to vividly think about the entire horror of the crucifixion of Christ, and no less than to a small extent to expertise with Him the horror of His struggling. The blows of the horrible Roman scourge, which tore off items of the physique of Christ, allow them to trigger you acute ache. Let the sound of the hammer, driving horrible nails into probably the most pure palms and toes of Christ, resound with horror in your ears and hearts.

I spoke concerning the eternal remembrance of the best atrocity of the human race – the crucifixion of the Son of God.

Only those that, along with the Apostle Paul, can all the time bear in mind: “By the Cross of my Lord Jesus Christ the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14), who don’t wish to boast in something besides the cross of the Lord.

In the Roman Church there was the good Saint Francis of Assisi, who from fixed intense thought concerning the sufferings of Christ, about His wounds, hemorrhages fashioned on his palms and toes on the locations of Christ’s wounds from nails.

And not solely Francis of Assisi, but in addition some saints of the Orthodox Church, had such stigmata on their legs and arms.

The cross of Christ is traced with fiery indicators on the hearts of the holy martyrs and all uncomplaining victims for Christ.

Firmly bear in mind the phrases of Christ: “ man brings forth good out of the great treasure of his coronary heart, however an evil man brings forth evil out of the evil treasure of his coronary heart” (Luke 6:45).

From the guts, on which the cross of Christ is inscribed, nothing evil comes out, and there’s no entry for demons to it.

When, in a forty-year wandering within the wilderness, God punished the Jews who grumbled at Him with an invasion of snakes, and Moses prayed to God for mercy on the individuals, God commanded him to erect a likeness of a rod with a bronze serpent hanging on it, and all these stung by snakes, taking a look at this image of the crucifixion Christ, had been healed.

Let us additionally look unceasingly with religion and tears on the cross of Christ, and we’ll obtain from Him the therapeutic of our sinful sores.

Let us unceasingly impress the cross of Christ on our hearts by diligent achievement of the commandments of Christ, after which the phrases of the Lord Jesus will come true for us: “He who has My commandments and retains them, it’s he who loves Me. And he who loves Me can be cherished by My Father, and I’ll love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21).

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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