The Holy Cross is Christ’s victorious flag. On 19 March 2017, Patriarch Daniel of Romania addressed the Orthodox faithful during his homily delivered at the Chapel of the Patriarchal Residence, focusing on the spiritual symbolism of the Cross.
Our Saviour Jesus Christ tells us that whoever wants to be His disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). Thus, there are three conditions for living a Christian life and for acquiring salvation: self-denial, taking up one’s cross and following Christ.
The Patriarch noted that self-denial does not refer to self- abolition or self-annulment, but rather to change the selfish way we live. Self-denial means to renounce our passionate way of living in forgetfulness of God and fellowmen.
The Romanian Patriarch went on to reflect on the tie existing between the Cross and Christ’s Resurrection, pointing out that the glory of the Resurrection is manifested in the Mystery of the Cross.
According to the Holy Fathers of the Church, the Holy Cross is Christ’s flag of victory that is the sign of Christ’s love, which is stronger than death. At the same time, the Patriarch said, the Cross is a symbol of Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection.
On the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross, we observe that by following Christ the Cross leads us to Resurrection. Our Saviour Jesus Christ tells us that God’s love is the foundation of true love for fellowmen and for ourselves.
In many ways, the cross is experienced as infirmity, unfulfillment or suffering. However, when He urges us to take up our cross the Saviour says: Take it! Accept your infirmity and follow Me! Bring to Me your pain, your infirmity, your sickness, your toil, your fight against yourself and against your infirmities!
Christ wants that we carry our suffering together with Him so that our burdensome unfulfillment be filled with His loving, salvific and sanctifying presence.
His Beatitude ended his homily saying that by taking up our cross and by following Christ we bring ourselves to Christ, patiently and hopefully bearing our infirmities, our sickness, our crucifixion between our intended ideal and the result we obtained so that He become the Physician and Saviour of our life.
Photo Credit: Lumina Newspaper