Shaped by a life of service to Christ’s Church, Fr. Christopher has dedicated himself to using all the tools God has placed at his disposal to spread the light of Orthodoxy across America. As Founding Father and host of the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) and the “Come Receive The Light” national Orthodox Christian radio program, he shepherds a dynamic and rapidly expanding ministry bringing joy, hope, and salvation in Jesus Christ to millions of listeners on Internet and land-based radio around the world in more than 130 countries. Fr. Christopher lives in Brookline, MA and is the President of Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
Third Sunday of Lent– The Holy Cross
On this Sunday, the third Sunday of Lent, we celebrate the veneration of the honorable and Life-Giving Cross, and for this reason: inasmuch as in the forty days of fasting we in a way crucify ourselves…and become bitter and despondent and failing, the Life –Giving Cross is presented to us for refreshment and assurance for remembrance of our Lord’s Passion, and for comfort…. We are like those following a long and cruel path, who become tired, see a beautiful tree with many leaves, sit in its shadow and rest for a while and then, as if rejuvenated, continue their journey; likewise today, in the time of fasting and difficult journey and effort, the Life-Giving Cross was planted in our midst by the holy fathers to give us rest and refreshment, to make us light and courageous for the remaining task…Or, to give another example: when a king is coming, at first his banner and symbols appear, then he himself comes glad and rejoicing about his victory and filling with joy those under him; likewise, out Lord Jesus Christ, who is about to show us His victory over death, and appear to us in the glory of the Resurrection Day, is sending to us in advance His scepter, the royal symbol-the Life-Giving Cross-and it fills us with joy and makes us ready to meet, inasmuch as it is possible for us, the King himself, and to render glory to His victory… All this in the midst of Lent which is like a bitter source because of its tears, because also of its efforts and despondency… but Christ comforts us who are as it were in a desert until He shall lead us up to the spiritual Jerusalem by His Resurrection.. for the Cross is called the Tree of Life, it is the tree that was planted in Paradise, and for this reason our fathers have planted it is the midst of Holy Lent, remembering both Adam’s bliss and how he was deprived of it, remembering also that partaking of this Tree we no longer die but are kept alive…
(taken from the synaxarion of the Sunday of the Cross)
Shine, Cross of the Lord, shine with the light of thy grace upon the hearts of those that honor thee. With love inspired by God, we embrace thee, O desire of all the world. Through thee our tears of sorrow of death have been wiped away; we have been delivered from the snares of death and have passed over to unending joy. Show us the glory of thy beauty and grant to us thy servants the reward of our abstinence, for we entreat with faith thy rich protection and great mercy.
Hail! Life-giving Cross, the fair Paradise of the Church, Tree of incorruption that brings is the enjoyment of eternal glory: through thee the hosts of demons have been driven back; and the hierarchies of angels rejoice with one accord, as the congregation of the faithful keep the feast. Thou art an invincible weapon, an unbroken stronghold; thou art the victory of kings and the
glory of priests. Grant us now to draw near to the Passion of Christ and to His Resurrection…
(read more.. The Lenten Triodion)
The Lenten Prayer of St. Epraim the Syrian
O Lord and Master of my life!
Take from me the spirit of sloth,
Faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity,
humility, patience, love to Thy servant.
Yes, O Lord and King!
Grant me to see my own errors
And not to judge my brother;
For blessed art thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.
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