ТРЕТА НЕДЕЛА ОД ВЕЛИКИОТ ПОСТ – КРСТОПОКЛОНА
GOSPEL READING: Mark 8:34-9:1
Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God [a]present with power.”
ЕВАНГЕЛСКО ЧЕТИВО: Марко 8, 34-9,1
Земи го крстот свој и оди по Него
34. И кога го повика народот и учениците Свои, им рече: „Кој сака да врви по Мене, нека се одрече од себе, и нека го земе крстот свој и нека оди по Мене. 35. Зашто, кој сака да ја спаси својата душа, ќе ја загуби; а кој ја загуби душата своја заради Мене и Евангелието, тој ќе ја спаси. 36. Оти каква полза е за човека, ако го придобие целиот свет, а на душата своја ѝ напакости? 37. Или каков откуп ќе даде човек за својата душа? 38. Зашто, кој се срами од Мене и од зборовите Мои во овој прељубодеен и грешен род, и Синот Човечки ќе се срами од него, кога ќе дојде во славата на Својот Отец со светите ангели.” 1. И им рече: „Вистина, ви велам: тука стојат некои, што нема да вкусат смрт, дури не го видат царството Божјо, дојдено во сила.”
There are two kinds of people in life — the plus people and the minus people. Those whose symbol is the minus sign never add to anyone's happiness. Rather, they take away. When they leave your company, you feel poorer in faith, poorer in love, poorer in hope. But thank God there is another group of people — God's people — the people of the Cross, the people who live by faith in the Son of God, the plus people. The Bible calls them "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world" and "the aroma of Christ." They add to life: courage, faith, love, hope, peace, joy.
So today on the Feast of the Adoration of the Holy Cross as we look at God's great plus sign beautifully decorated with flowers we are reminded that:
1. Man need not be alone in his problems and troubles. He can have the great plus of God's presence, His love and care.
2. Sinful man plus God's mercy equals forgiveness.
3. Confused man plus Christ equals new purpose, new meaning, a totally new person.
4. Guilt-ridden man plus Christ equals "the peace of God that passes all understanding."
5. Dying man plus faith in Christ equals eternal life with God in heaven.
6. Weak man plus Christ equals strength. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," testifies St. Paul.
7. Despairing man plus Christ equals hope — a hope that says, "You need not stay the way you are. You, just as you are, plus God's redeeming power, equal the person you were meant to be, the person about whom God can say one day, "This is my beloved son or daughter, in whom I am well pleased."
Lord, as we come to reverence your Cross today we reverence not wood or metal but the symbol of the greatest victory mankind has ever known — your victory over sin and death; a victory in which we all share through Baptism and faith; a victory which has changed the great minus signs of life into plus signs, a victory which makes each Christian a plus person in the world adding light where there is darkness, love where there is hate, hope where there is despair, a cup of cold water where there is thirst, and a piece of bread where there is hunger. Amen.
*Source: Excerpt from the book: Gems from the Sunday Gospels, by Father Anthony M. Coniaris