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Sermon on Sunday before the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [2011]

Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,

in this divine sunday, the Church speaks about the Cross of Lord as about love. Because His death on the Cross is the love with which God loved us. And His love is divine.

Therefore, in today’s Gospel [John 3, 13-17], with only five verses, the love of God, which is synonymous with the economy of salvation, it is love that makes us believers. For the love of Most Holy Trinity assures us in the Lord Jesus Christ that faith eternalized man.

Because faith is assurance that life brings in us. Is assurance in God’s love we have been amazed, by His love, basically.

 And He amazed us because He descended to us [v. 13]. But just as much surprised us when He ascended to heaven, leading the human nature in the Trinity.

In the 14th verse, Saint John the Evangelist, talks about lifted up [acc. KJV, which translates the infinitive aorist passive u`ywqh/nai of GNT] of the Son of man. But this ascension of Lord, like the serpent in the wilderness [v. 14], is expression of the human satanism with address to the Lord.

Why? For that His lifted up on Cross meant His ascension, His rise above all that is sinful, unrighteous, unclean, not holy. And it’s great learning for us, because we can not ascend to God before destroying in us all the sin that separates us from Him.

Because not pride lifts up man to God, but humility. And the descent of Him meant humiliation, because He took all our own, apart from sin, to cleanse, to purify our humanity and it was filled with light and lifted it back, by Cross, at the Trinity.

In other words, the Cross is not the end of our life but life in the light of Trinity that brings the Cross. But without the sanctifying power of the Cross of the Lord we can not have life within us, His eternal life.

And to inherit life and we must mortify our lusts and passions. This is the actually meaning of today’s feast: fill us with the ascetic from cause of Him who loved us so much.

And those who do not understand the orthodox asceticism, those do not understand, in fact, Gods love for us and ours for Him. Because God’s love does not leave you cold but you do live, passionate for the Lord. And this enthusiasm for the Lord is His gift, because it’s love with that He loves us.

The 16th verse speaks about eternal life as a possession. But it receives from Who possesses. And how can we receive eternal life from God, if we are not full of love, divine love as He? For the eternal life is the communion with God. And if God is love, mercy, peace, holiness, purity…how to be a communion with Him without these fundamental inner conditions?

And not for nothing we have, after the feast of the Theotokos, ie after virginity, a discussion about the love as sacrifice. Because the love that sacrifices is the pure love to God.

And the fact that God’s love for us is great and clean and holy is no doubt. Therefore the eternal life is full of purity and the purity is our salvation.

And then, what condemns ourselves? The non-accepting of the Son of God in our lives, of the One who has come to save us (acc. v. 17). Not to believe into Him means to remain under judgment.

And for He comes to fill us with His love, than not to accept His love means to us an auto-condemn at unhappiness.  And unhappiness is unloved.

Thus we should not mock our happiness, that is our salvation! To fully enjoy into His salvation! Because our salvation in Christ is Satan’s judgment and the world of sin, is our lifting up, through Cross, into the eternal happiness.

 Lord fills us with happiness and glory, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen!

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1 Comment

  1. Helen

    Much appreciated for the information and share!

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