The Feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross
What wonderful ways the Lord our God gives us tools and pieces to the puzzle, not to diminish the need for faith, but to rather show mercy to us who struggle daily…
September 14th of each year marks the second feast day of the liturgical calendar, known also as the Exaltation of the Cross. (This feast carries a significance in that it is one that warrants a strict fast during the actual day – as we do on the feast day for the Beheading of John the Forerunner, which actually is not a Great Feast). The Elevation of the Holy Cross is remembered and celebrated to mark a historical event where, at the place called Golgotha, an empress found the Cross of which Jesus Christ was crucified on. Found with this were also the two crosses that supported the death of the two thieves by His side. In addition to this event, another is combined which marks the return (by force) of the cross into Christian hands approximately three centuries later in the 600’s.
How fortunate are we! How blessed are we that we are given these events to remind us of an actual event that few dispute having occurred; an event that we can reassure and ease our human minds to make it that much more plausible to associate with our faith and the wondrous miracles of our Lord. Many times through life one, including myself in the past, may say “how can I believe that which I cannot see… why is there not a sign of Your existence when I most need it…” But how stupid and ignorant are we! The tools I have often spoke of in my other posts. These tools – fasting, the tangible structure of our Church that meets the invisible Spirit, icons and the like – are made much more important and are edifying to say the least in that they actually are true signs that have been right under our nose all this time. Many of course dispute icons, saints and anything materialistic. But why would one be so quick to discount these tools that, as everything is brought to a point of creation only through the will of God, reflects in some way the image of God, which is the only way we admittedly can move toward His likeness? Yes, therefore, we have been given signs. Signs that are available to us any moment of the day. A chance to pray… an opportunity to abstain… the time to love one another as He loves us. They are all around us, and so we can live in the world but not of the world through His gifts to us.
Now on September 14th we have another gift that warrants an annual remembrance and feast. And how very significant it is indeed, as we have yet another sign that eludes so many and pales in observance compared to the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. Right under our nose… thank You dear Lord for having mercy on us and allowing one to have reprieve through your compassion. Without the tools You have given I might stray from the path, as a sheep without a visible shepherd would undoubtedly do.
Love in Christ,