I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?
- John 11:25-26
BY HIS HOLINESS Pope SHENOUDA III
The Church celebrates the feast of the Cross on the 17th of Tot, (27th or 28th of September), the day of the apparition of the Cross to the Emperor Constantine, and on the 10th of Baramhat (19th of March), the day when the Empress Helen found the wood of the Holy Cross.
We want today to speak about the spiritual meaning of the Cross, and about the importance and benediction of the Cross, in our lives.
The Cross is every difficulty which we suffer in view of our love for God, or for our love for people, for the Kingdom of God in general.
THE LORD CHRIST AND THE CROSS
The Lord invited to bear the Cross and said: "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Matt. 16:24) (Mark 8:34). And He said to the rich young man: "Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, ....... and come, take up the cross, and follow Me" (Mark 10:21). He made the bearing of the Cross a condition for the discipleship to Him. He said: "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:27).
He Himself, during all the period of His Incarnation on earth, lived bearing the Cross. Since His Nativity, Herod wanted to kill Him, and He run away with His mother to Egypt. When He began his mission, he suffered the fatigue of the service, and had "nowhere to lay His head" (Luke 9: 58). He lived a life of pain, so that Isaiah said about Him that He is: "A Man of sorrow and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3).
He was bitterly persecuted by the Jews. Once they "took up stones again to stone Him" (John 10:31). Another time they wanted to "throw Him down over the cliff" (Luke 4:29). As for their insults and their accusation of Him, they are very numerous. All these are crosses which are other than the Cross on which He was crucified.......