St. Theophan the Recluse: The Message of the Cross
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Thursday, October 6 (23), 2022
Eph. 4:14-19; Lk. 4:16-22

In the middle of Great Lent there is a Feast of the Holy Cross, as if designed to inspire the faithful on their steadfast Lenten journey to the Bright Feast of the Resurrection of  Christ.  And what is the reason for today’s Feast of the Cross, in September?  Just an occasion?  hardly so: in the Church, driven by the all-wise Providence, everything has a meaning.

By September harvest is by and large completed.  Therefore, lest some Christians say: “My soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry” [Lk. 12:19], while others fall into despondency because of want, the Holy Cross is exalted before everyone’s eyes.  The Cross reminds the former that the basis of our well-being is not in material possessions but rather in the internal cross-bearing, whereby all external necessities get supplied by the Grace of God; the Cross also moves the latter to possess their souls in patience [Lk. 21:19], encouraging them by the assurance that the Cross opens the door to the Heavens.  Thus, let them persevere, knowing that they are on the proven way to the Heavenly Kingdom, while the others partake of the earthly pleasures with the fear of God, being careful not to close the Heavens for themselves.