In this video recording, Archbishop Christophoros from Jordan talks about ordering our priorities and finding spiritual peace. He also shows the role of the Cross in our daily lives, as “it leads us to the Resurrection and gives us comfort, strength, and blessing”. This is a sermon recorded in March 27th 2022, the Third Sunday of Great and Holy Lent, Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross, by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese – Amman – Jordan.
English translation by Waad Rabahie Video source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese – Amman – Jordan
Many times the troubles we go through get bigger in us and these troubles which are of this size, become bigger than their natural and real size.
That is how we get upset and it costs us our spiritual peace and spiritual progress.
That is why today’s gospel says: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” [Mark 8:36]
Today, the Church, in the middle of the paradise of fasting, presents to us the Holy Precious Cross so that we gain strength and comfort from it, so that we continue our spiritual struggle during the Holy Lent.
Indeed, we receive strength and comfort from the Holy Cross when we prostrate in front of it, when the cross is activated in our life, i.e. when each one of us carries his personal cross with joy.
Thus he is always able to live the blessing of the Cross. The Cross leads us to the Resurrection and gives us comfort, strength, and blessing. Because the Cross for us is the fountain of goodness. The Cross for us is glory, joy, and peace. However, this comes after we walk through spiritual struggle in life.
All of us need to activate the meaning of the Cross and live it through bearing all the hardships.
And these hardships that we struggle to overcome are both internal and external, i.e. the spiritual side where the person struggles to get rid of the old man and overcome his passions, weakness, and any bad thing in him.
It’s essential for us to receive comfort from the Cross in our battle against passions and our old man, the sinful man inside of us, to kill it and be able to rise with Christ. This is our spiritual struggle.
How to transform the hatred within us into love… How to transform the passions into virtue and chastity… How to transform anger into peace… How we struggle to get rid of all the vices within us…
This is what the Christian strives in carrying his Cross. And in his spiritual struggle to get rid of all the evils. That is why we practice the mystery of confession and repentance. So that our Lord forgives our sins and cleanses us from the inside.
Because it is essential to achieve purity of heart and conscience. It is essential for our conscience, mind, and heart to be pure.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). This is the purpose of our life: to see God, to meet God. And to do that, we should prepare our minds and hearts to be a dwelling place for God. And this happens through repentance and seeking purity.
In this matter, Jesus prayer helps us: “Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner”. It is essential to activate these spiritual weapons which the Church gives us and activate the Cross which the Church presents to us today to overcome the old man, so that the new man is born, who is in the image of God.
This is how each one of us becomes Christ-bearer. On the other hand, the hardships of life… Everyone goes through many hardships through neighbors, family, society, or jobs and many other things surrounding us in life.
Here it is important to see them in their real value. Today’s gospel puts each one of us in front of a big responsibility, that is how to order our priorities in our life. The first priority in our life is our soul, our salvation.
This is the most essential part because this is how we join eternity. And after that, all other things fall into place. If we can place the salvation of our soul as a top priority and as the purpose of our life then God’s grace grants us the ability to see things in their real size so that we don’t get harmed spiritually.
Thus we can deal with things with comfort, peace, and joy, carrying the Cross and believing in the goodness of God.
It is important as Christians to make a stand about life. Our stand should not be a worldly one. Because then we lose our spiritual, heavenly and Christian identity.
Our criterion and standard should be spiritual and heavenly, i.e. eternal, which is our salvation. That is why today’s gospel presents us in front of this fact: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” [Mark 8:36]