“Come, ye faithful, and let us venerate the Life-Giving Wood”
On Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross, in the middle of salvific feat of fasting, the Lord deigns to all who are worn and weary in this vineyard, bestowing upon us His love and strength, gently reminding us that we have not yet battled against sin to the point of shedding blood. The Lord also tells us today about the way of the cross as the only path to salvation and inspires us with hope: the light of Christ’s Resurrection is only perceived from the Cross.
“Come, ye faithful, and let us venerate the Life-giving Wood,” the Holy Church calls her children to come to the footrest of the Honorable and Life-giving Cross of the Lord. The Cross of Christ has a great salvific power. It extends towards the length of all times and the width of the entire universe; its height stretches to heaven and its depth down to the abyss of hell.
The Cross of Christ is an example of a consummate, true self-denial. The Son of God came into the world in the image of a slave, humbling Himself and obedient even to death on the Cross. He rejected the life itself in order to save man; the Savior calls us to reject sin and spiritual doom.
The Life-Giving Cross was positioned at solea on analogion in the Trinity Cathedral of the Seraphim-Diveevo monastery. On Saturday of the third week of Lent, following the Great Doxology during the All-Night Vigil, a host of the monastery’s clergy solemnly brought it to the middle of the Trinity Cathedral for the faithful to venerate it.
And so today, as we venerate the Cross of Christ, we kneel before it and, in submission to God’s will, we give thanks to Him for our minor crosses and exclaim: “Remember us, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy kingdom.”