Homily on the Sunday of the Cross

Homily on the Sunday of the Cross

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Before Thy Cross, we fall down, O Master, and Thy Holy Resurrection we glorify (Troparion to the Cross).

When the Holy Church brings from out of the depths of the altar from the holy table the Life-giving Cross of the Lord and presents it to the faithful to bow down before and kiss, what thought does it have? The thought that its true children, who have passed along the path of the fast and have struggled with their much-suffering flesh and with the devil—who during the fast especially ignites his arrows against their flesh—will behold the cross and vividly imagine the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He endured in His most pure flesh for our sakes; that they would be strengthened through it for the struggle with their flesh, with their passions and lusts; and so that they would not regret crucifying it in its passions, and would courageously war with the enemy that has taken up arms against them with various temptations. Look, how the Lord as if announces to us from the Cross what He has endured for us. This is what I have accepted, He says, for your salvation through my most pure flesh, untouchable by any kind of sin. Do you refuse to crucify in the flesh your various passions and lusts? Do you not endure some of the bitterness of fasting? Do you not endure depravation from sweetness in order to tame the flesh, which, the more enjoyment you give it and satiate it, the more enraged it becomes? Do you not endure the fiery arrows of the enemy, when I allowed him to pierce My divine flesh with all manner of arrows? This is the thought with which the cross is now brought out for the faithful to bow down before and kiss. Thus, do not be downcast from fasting and from the struggle with the passions and the devil, but struggle courageously, calling for help upon Him Who suffered for us and through the Cross has conquered our enemies. And be victorious. Amen.


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