Third Sunday of Great Lent-Adoration of the Holy Cross
“For through the Cross, Joy has come to all the world.”
How strange it must seem to hear these words. How can we associate Joy-the feeling of sublime happiness-with the symbol of the Cross? The cross, that instrument of torture and death used by the Romans to punish those convicted of crimes against the state, now serves as a source of joy to all the world. Where do we find the joy in the cross? How do we accept the cross that comes into our lives?
As Christians, we recognize the symbolism of the cross as the key to our salvation in Christ. We hold as truth that the Lord willingly ascended the cross for our sakes and our salvation. Without the Cross there can be no Resurrection and no salvation. Christ’s death on the Cross guarantees the promise of salvation for all.
Although we may never endure crucifixion on the cross, we may be called to carry a cross at some time in our lives. We may face physical challenges or health emergencies. Perhaps we might lose our job or have to relocate to keep our employment. No matter the circumstances, if we willingly take up our cross in this life, Our Lord will be with us to offer help and guidance in our struggle. In the words of the St. Isaac of Syria, “The path of God is a daily cross. No one can ascend into Heaven by means of ease, for we know where the way of ease leads, and how it ends.”