Friday, April 14, 2017

Glory in the Cross

At Siloam, there was a sense of wonder.  A man born blind recovered his sight.  But of what importance is this, when there are so many blind people in the world?  Lazarus rose from the dead, but even this only affected Lazarus.  What of those countless number who have died because of their sins?  Those five miraculous loaves fed five thousand people.  Yet this is a small number compared to those all over the world who were starved by ignorance.  After eighteen years a woman was freed from the bondage of Satan.  But are we not all shackled by the chains of our own sins?
               For us all, however, the cross is the crown of victory!  It has brought light to those blinded by ignorance.  It has released those enslaved by sin.  Indeed, it has redeemed the whole of mankind!  For it was not a mere man who died for us, but the Son of God, God made man.
               He was not killed by violence, he was not forced to give up his life.  His was a willing sacrifice!  He willingly submitted to his own passion.  He took joy in his achievement; in this crown of victory he was glad, and in the salvation of man he rejoiced.  He did not blush at the cross for by it he was to save the world.  No, it was not a lowly man who suffered but God incarnate.
               Certainly in times of tranquility the cross should give you joy.  But maintain the same faith in times of persecution.  Otherwise you will be a friend of Jesus in times of peace and his enemy during war.  Now you receive the forgiveness of your sins and the generous gift of grace from your king.  When war comes, fight courageously for him.
Jesus never sinned; yet he was crucified for you.  Will you refuse to be crucified for him, who for your sake was nailed to the cross?  You are not the one who gives the favor; you have received one first.  For your sake he was crucified on Golgotha.  Now you are returning his favor; you are fulfilling your debt to him.
Is it too much to guard your thoughts, use your time to listen, and face life with thanksgiving.  That is all he wants, this is the fasting he wishes.                 kvs with St. Cyril of Jerusalem

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