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Weekly Sermon
 
Sixième Dimanche du grand Carême

Sixième Dimanche du grand Carême


( By : H. H. Pope Shenouda )

The Cross is a symbol of suffering and three crosses symbolise three cases:

The Cross of Christ is a symbol of suffering for righteousness' sake, while the other two crosses refer to suffering as a penalty for sin. These are divided into two kinds: one suffers because of his sins then repents and returns while the other suffers because of his sins but complains and grumbles, then dies in his sins...

The Cross which is for righteousness' sake is also of a different kind:

The cross of love and sacrifice is like the Cross of Christ who endured suffering to save us, "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13).

There is another cross in offering. And the greatest offering is that given from the needs where you prefer others to yourself. You become in need to let others take, like the widow who gave all that she had, her whole livelihood.

Another Cross is that of endurance: turning the other cheek and walking the second mile. It is not only bearing people's abuses, but being good to those who spitefully use you and also loving them!...

Who can do that?... It is a cross...

There is another cross in the Spiritual Struggle: in the victory of the spirit over the body, in enduring the hardships and wars of the world, the body and the devil... It is also in crucifying the body and its desires,... having victory over oneself.... entering through the narrow gate...

It is a Cross to suffer for righteousness' sake. This is only for beginners... As for the perfect, the cross turns into joy and pleasure...

We feel the narrowness of the gate at the beginning of the way. But later on, we find pleasure in carrying out the commandment and love it. By then the way would not be distressful and what at first was a cross becomes a pleasure...

Martyrdom used to be a Cross, then it turned to be a joy. Saints began to desire martyrdom and long for death and rejoice in it...

Labouring and suffering for God's sake became a pleasure and an enjoyment.

Therefore, the Bible considers suffering a gift from God... "For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for his sake." (Phil. 1:29).

When will the cross be a joy in our life?



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