Holy cross

Homily for the Divine Liturgy of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross – Homilies

[*][**]His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America

[**]Divine Liturgy of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

[**]September 14, 2021

[**]Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church

[**]Whitestone, New York

My beloved sisters and brothers in Christ,

“While you have the light, trust the light, that you may become children of the light.”[*]

This beloved community of Holy Cross, Whitestone – this is the place where you are all called to “become children of light”.

Every time you come into this Church and somehow participate in fellowship or education, there is only one purpose behind it. So that you are illuminated from within by the Light of Christ. But we must be pure in our motives and sincere in our desires. As the Lord Himself solemnly warns him:

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is clear and pure, your whole body will shine with light; but if your eye is imperfect and evil, then your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light that is in you is darkness, oh what darkness there will be![†]

How then can we expand our minds and hearts without expanding our ego? What is the secret – μυστικό – to broaden your personality, without inflating your pride?

The answer is found here – today – in the Presence of the Holy Cross, and in His Exaltation. The Cross is called many things: Ladder to Heaven, Weapon of Peace, Invincible Trophy. But it is also a beam of balance, on which the life of the spirit harmonizes with the life of the spirit.

True knowledge of God is not based on the powers of your intellect, but on the capacity and vitality of your heart. For it is in the human heart that the Light of Christ shines and dispels all traces of darkness and shadow. It is in your heart that your faith is founded and where it honors you, as Hebrews says, “with the substance of things hoped for, with the proof of things unseen.”[‡] When the Lord calls us today in the Gospel of the Orthros in “believing in the light, trusting the light,” he does not call us to trust our own understanding.

As the great king and prophet Solomon said:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and don’t rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. “[§]

Therefore, my beloved friends: let us cherish this feast – your patronal feast – to deepen your knowledge of the heart, to live life with intense devotion to God and genuine love for our fellow human beings.

This is why the Cross is your balance, your harmony, your spiritual balance. Because the Lord voluntarily ascended on the Cross, as we sing today: Ὁ ὑψωθεὶς ἐν τῷ Σταυρῷ ἑκουσίως.

And if he did it for one, he did it for everyone – for those we love and for those we hate, for those we love and for those we don’t, for those we love. we know and for those we don’t even want to know. Our opinions, likes and dislikes are irrelevant to the love of God and the purpose of God for each of his creatures. They are only important for us to accept the challenge to love as God loves, to forgive as God forgives, to give as God gives, to become living mirrors, who reflect God in the world.

This you can only learn from one teacher and one teacher: the cross.

The Cross does not condemn anyone.

The Cross endures all humiliations.

The Cross patiently waits for us to come to Skull Square – Κρανίου, Γολγοθά, where we can die to our selfish and egocentric desires and learn to live for others.

In his Universal Exaltation today we remember that it is about an animated and vivifying Tree – Ξύλον[**] – a living Master of the truth of God’s love for us and of the possibility of love for one another.

Always be disciples of the best Master: the Cross of Christ.

Then you will truly be the loving community of believers that we are called to be, by the grace of God, children of the Light.

Amen.

[*]


[*] John 12:36, Gospel Matins of the Feast.

[**] Greetings to the Precious Cross, Stasis Λ.