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


 

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea(Delivered on September 14/27, 1954)

 

The Cross of Christ is the good banner of our salvation, and the eternal reminiscence of it’s most necessary for us. But the concerns of life overwhelm us, and we simply overlook about this most necessary factor. The Lord Jesus Christ completely knew the human coronary heart, knew that it wanted frequent reminders of a very powerful issues, and He properly took care that the instrument of our salvation, the Cross on which He gave His life for the sins of the world, was not forgotten amidst worldly fuss. His enemies, the Jewish excessive clergymen and scribes, who wished to blot out the reminiscence of Him, took down three crosses on Golgotha and buried them deep within the floor, masking them with a whole lot of earth. They didn’t know that it was impressed by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.And the Roman emperor Hadrian, not figuring out something concerning the buried crosses, ordered to construct a temple on this place to the pagan goddess Aphrodite and by this fairly reliably hid the Cross of Christ for 3 centuries.

When the horrible persecution of the Roman emperors in opposition to Christians ended, and the good Equal-to-the-Apostles Emperor Constantine put an finish to paganism in the complete Roman Empire, then our Lord Jesus Christ put into the center of Equal-to-the-Apostles Helen, his mom, the considered discovering His Cross and revealing it to the world.

By her order, the temple of Aphrodite was destroyed, the earth dug deep beneath it, and three an identical crosses have been discovered. Patriarch Makarios of Jerusalem ordered to cease the funeral procession passing by and lay three crosses on the deceased. By the resurrection of the dead, Christ God indicated His Cross. In entrance of an enormous crowd of individuals, the Patriarch, who stood on an elevated place, elevated the Cross of Christ and lowered it when his palms weakened, and the individuals who gathered in multitudes ceaselessly sang with pleasure and trembling: “Lord have mercy! Lord have mercy! Lord have mercy!”

Thus, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself for the primary time reminded the world of His Honorable Cross. And since then, for sixteen and a half centuries, the Holy Church on this nice feast reminds us of the Cross of the Lord by exalting it on all sides on the all-night vigil.

And twice a 12 months, on the Sunday of the Veneration of the Honorable Cross and on the primary of August, in addition to on the feast of the origin of the honorable tree of the Cross of the Lord, the Holy Church remembers the Cross by bringing it from the altar to the folks and venerating it thrice with common singing: “We venerate Your Cross, Master, and your holy Resurrection we glorify.”

Oh, how necessary is that this threefold reminder of the cross of Christ! How simple it could be to overlook about it with out these reminders! For it is just about our bodily wants and earthly blessings that we always remember, however about a very powerful factor – concerning the indelible mark of the Cross of Christ on our hearts – we bear in mind incomparably much less, and the much less we bear in mind, the extra we’re busy with earthly affairs.

Therefore, weak and common Christians who don’t set themselves the purpose of their lives to turn out to be buddies of Christ by the fixed success of His commandments want extra frequent reminders of the Cross of Christ. There are many such folks within the small flock of Christ.

But there are others on this flock who, along with the apostle Paul, can say: “The world has been crucified to me by the Cross, and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14).

The Cross made such a tremendous and indelible impression on them that they endlessly forgot concerning the world, about its lusts and charms. Blessed are these nice males who’ve turn out to be buddies of Christ. They don’t should be reminded of the Cross of Christ, for they always remember it.

But there are numerous individuals who additionally don’t should be reminded of the Cross of Christ, as a result of they don’t consider within the Lord Jesus Christ and are fully detached to the good Christian relic – the Cross of the Lord – and even hate and trample on it, since Christ prevents them from going their very own means.

And you, servants of God, don’t be ashamed by the rise in unbelief, for the Lord and our God Jesus Christ spoke about it in His horrible prophetic phrase: “When the Son of Man comes, will he discover religion on earth?”

Take consolation in His different nice prophecy that even the gates of hell won’t prevail in opposition to His Church.

With a superb and pure life, fixed prayer and, above all, the success of the commandments of Christ, turn out to be nearer and nearer to Him. And then the radiant Cross of Christ can be indelibly inscribed in your hearts. May this be with you all by the grace and mercy of our nice God and Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, to Him be glory and energy with His Beginningless Father and the Most Holy Spirit endlessly and ever. Amen.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

 

 

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