St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

The Feast of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross - 2003

by Fr. Rodney Torbic

John 19:17-18

And He, bearing His Cross went out to a place called The Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgatha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.

The Holy Orthodox Church today celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross. Orthodox believers search their hearts and minds to fully understand the crucifixion of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This mystery of the crucifixion, in its totality, is beyond the scope of the limited human mind to fully comprehend. Every year at Pascha we are reminded the divine took on human flesh. (Jn.1:14)

While there is more about God than we will ever know, we can know God in prayer. We can know God in the Holy Mysteries of the Church. We can know God at work in the creation and governing of the universe. We can know God in the granting of new life. We can know God through the Holy Scriptures.

The Cross ultimately revealed the divinity of Christ. The Cross ultimately was the instrument of death transformed into the instrument of life in Christ.

Jesus Christ transforms sinners. Jesus Christ transforms situations and circumstances. Jesus Christ brings hope where there seems to be no hope. Jesus Christ brings light where there seems only to be darkness.

Jesus Christ on the Cross brings joy where there is sorrow. Jesus Christ on the Cross brings peace where there is conflict and turmoil.

The Holy Apostle Paul spoke about the message of the cross when he addressed the Corinthians. St. Paul said the foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (I Cor.1:25) St. Paul called the message of the cross foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those being saved, the cross is the power of God. (I Cor.1:17)

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross is an entry way into the life in Christ. The Feast is an opportunity for believers to receive the Precious Body and Blood of Christ. The Feast is an opportunity to be united with Christ through listening to the Holy Gospel. The Feast is an opportunity through prayer, through worship, through fasting to be united with Christ.

We know Jesus died on the Cross and rose from the dead. We are different today because we experienced this death and resurrection in the Holy Mystery of Baptism.

May this Feast be an annual renewal of our Baptismal experience. May today and each day be the renewal of our commitment to and life in Christ, our King our God.

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