The Cross of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, represents the love of God shown to the humans in a world full of hate and violence, Patriarch Daniel said in the sermon delivered Sunday, 11 September 2016, in the historical chapel of the Patriarchal Residence.
His Beatitude explained the Bible teaching of John 3:13-17 (see the text below) read on the Sunday before the Exaltation of the Holy Cross which renders Jesus’ talk with Nicodim.
The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church emphasised the fact that this Sunday shows us the Mystery and power of the Cross of Christ, the Saviour.
This Sunday shows us that the Holy Cross is the sign of love which overcomes sin and death. The Gospel text reads about the fact that Jesus Christ, our Saviour, spoke both about the Mystery of Baptism and about that of the Cross when He met Nicodim. This Gospel text shows us that the One Who came down from Heaven is the One Who is in Heaven, and that the Incarnated Son of God is both in Heaven and on earth. He is on the throne of heavenly grace together with the Father and the Holy Spirit as well as the God-the-Man conceived through the work of the Holy Spirit in the Virgin’s womb and was made Man for the people’s salvation, His Beatitude said.
The Holy Cross, the Patriarch of Romania explained, is a sign of salvation and of eternal life. It shows us how much God loved the world.
The Holy Cross is the sign of the never ending love of for humans, higher than humans’ understanding of God. It is a love that observes human freedom, even when man rejects God or does not receive Him. The Cross of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, represents God’s love shown to the humans in a world full of hate and violence. In fact, Christ was crucified on the cross as a result of the envy, hate, and violence of the leaders of the scholars and Pharisees who envied and hated Jesus just because the crowds loved, believed, and followed Him.
Everywhere true Christians are living, we see the sign of the Cross, the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church added.
Everywhere we see the Holy Cross we must remember how much God loves us and is waiting for our answer to His love.
We wear the cross on a small chain at our necks when we are baptised, we mark ourselves with the sign of the Holy Cross, in the morning, when we wake up, in the evening when we go to bed, before meals and after meals. Mothers make the sign of the Holy Cross on the bread that is to be put in the oven, and our peasants carve the sign of the Holy Cross on their gates to enter the courtyard or house just like into a church, into a place consecrated through prayer and good deeds. We locate the cross on the edge of the road or at crossroads to remember Jesus Christ, our Saviour, Who said: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6).
The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross which follows this Sunday is celebrated every year on 14 September.
Gospel text of the Sunday before the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
(Talk of Jesus with Nicodim – John 3:13-17)
No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Photo: Lumina newspaper