Christ is in our midst!  He is and ever shall be!

In the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

“For the preaching of the Cross is foolishness to those who [are perishing]; but unto us who are [being] saved, it is the power of God.”

This is what we heard the Apostle say tonight in his Holy Epistle.  He speaks what we know, what the Church has always known: the message of the Cross, the word of the Cross is at once salvific as well as a judgment, depending on how it is received: in faith, by faith, or in disdain by unbelief.  This same Apostle testified on Sunday in another Epistle to the Cross’ power in his life and in ours, if we allow it.  St. Paul would rather “boast in the Cross,” he said, than in anything else.  By the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ he has been crucified to the world and the world likewise crucified to him (Ga. 6:11-18).  It is the invincible Trophy and Weapon of peace for all who gladly pick it up, deny self, and follow Jesus (Mk. 8:34).  Truly, the Cross of the Crucified Holy One of God is “power” for us and in us as we surrender ourselves to Jesus Christ high and lifted up like the bronze serpent of old (Nm. 21:4-9; Jn. 3:14).  Without Christ God affixed to it, the Cross is meaningless, just two pieces of lumber fitted together used to inflict the most excruciating pain of punishment imaginable.  But, with the Son of God nailed to it, all that has been handwritten against us to accuse us and to condemn us has likewise been nailed with Him to the Cross (Co. 2:14).  Indeed, our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ has reconciled fallen sinners once again to the Father and has “made peace through the Blood of His Cross” (Co. 1:20), “the forgiveness of our sins” (Co. 1:14). 

It was 40 days ago that you and I commemorated the Holy Transfiguration of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ when, with the Apostles Peter, James, and John, He ascended Mt. Tabor and was there revealed literally in all of His glory.  At that time we sang with the Church that our Lord revealed His awesome glory to His Disciples insofar “as they could bear it” (Troparion) for the express purpose of reassuring them that “when they would behold Thee crucified, they would understand that Thy suffering was voluntary” (Kontakion).  Although we liturgically commemorate the Transfiguration as a saving event in late summer, historically and Biblically it was experienced just before our Lord’s Great and Holy Passion.  Now, 40 days later we commemorate the Universal Exaltation of the Holy Precious and Life-giving Cross revealed in the glory of Mt. Tabor, inextricably united with the Great and Holy Passion of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ.  This is why St. Paul relishes the Cross and glories in it so.  It is the message of the Cross, the word of the Cross, the preaching of the Cross of the crucified Son of God that is the hub of the Christian year and of the Christian life.  It is the universal sign of Christianity and of being a Christian.  It is what marks us as God’s own possession, no different than cattle branded by their owner.  It identifies who we are and Whose we are.  It is the universal experience of living the Christ-life – of salvation as understood as theosis.  It is what St. Paul elsewhere says we are to be conformed to.  Along with being transformed by Christ and transfigured with His glory, we are “predestined,” Paul says, “to be conformed to the image of [God’s crucified] Son, . . . .” (Rm. 8:29).  Nailed to the Tree with the Son of God we who have been saved, who are being saved, and who will be saved take on His likeness in the power of His Resurrection.  Made like Him in His Death, we will also be made like Him in His Resurrection so that we “should walk in newness of life” (Rm. 6:4, 5). 

This, beloved, is what has conquered our foolishness and has incorporated us into the wisdom and power of God.  It is by all definitions the very love of God made manifest!  By the Cross, the archenemy of our souls has been overcome by the Love of God enfleshed, death defeated, the demons put to flight, and the world is being restored to Paradise (Co. 2:15).  The Holy Precious and Life-giving Cross, beloved, is for us who delight in the aroma of Eternal Life our hope and our salvation, our joy and our delight, just as it was for our Lord.  Who, then, brethren, St. Paul wonders, “is sufficient for these things” (2 Cr. 2:14-16)?    

For God so loved the world that He gave [offered up] His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life.  For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him [His Cross] might be saved (Jn. 3:16-17).      

“For the preaching of the Cross is foolishness to those who [are perishing]; but unto us who are [being] saved, it is the power of God.”

\Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us.  Amen.

Glory to Jesus Christ!  Glory forever!


Ex. 15:22-16:1

Pr. 3:11-18

Is. 60:11-16


1 Cr. 1:18-24

Jn. 19:6-11, 13-20, 25-28, 30-35