His Eminence, Archbishop Nicolae-s Message for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
The month of September represents the beginning of the ecclesiastical year. But as we well know, this month we all take up again the activities that have been interrupted for the summer: children and young people find themselves at their school desks, and older folks at their accustomed occupations.
This re-beginning of life is marked by the Orthodox Church with two great celebrations: the Birth of the Theotokos and the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The Birth of the Theotokos, the first Royal Feast of the ecclesiastical year, is the celebration dedicated to that most pure human being, who received at her breast God Who was incarnated for our salvation. And the Exaltation of the Holy Cross reminds us of the significance of that Incarnation and Sacrifice for us.
In His secret conversation with Nicodemus, the Savior Himself reveals the necessity of His Sacrifice: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life" (John 3:14-15). The lifting up of the Savior on the Cross means our being lifted up toward God the Father, our being offered up to God in the desire to obtain eternal life. Our life in isolation, separated from God, can only be limited to this earth and the joys it can bring. Life in communion with God bears the seal of eternity. This is not only because of the fact that after this earthly life we will be in eternity with God, but also because already during this life we partake of boundless heavenly joys. The person who has met God can no longer be satisfied with what this world, separated from God, can offer him, and he wants to be ever closer to the Giver of Good Gifts. It is in this thirst for eternity that we reveal the true image of God. Our gaze directed at the Savior lifted up on the Cross is the evidence of the fact that we are in tune with God, and of our desire that we might also be lifted up and have a foretaste of eternal life.
The Savior-s sacrifice on the Cross and our gaze directed toward Him reveals to us our profoundest core of being. For those of us who appropriate the words addressed to Nicodemus are Christians and desirous of eternity. We cannot understand the unthinking gesture of those who attempt to take the life of our children, those who follow behind us and carry on our desire for eternity. We cannot explain to these lost brothers of ours what it is that we believe and long for. We can only pray more fervently that God might behold our desire for eternity and have mercy also upon them, correcting and illuminating their minds. We who have experienced pain for our brother-s tribulation know the power of prayer for our neighbor. Let us encourage one another to pray, and let us lift up our thoughts to the All-Merciful God, that he might continue to allow us to work out our mutual salvation.
The Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas
As we begin the new ecclesiastical year and the new academic year, it is our heartfelt prayer that all of you, especially our students, may hold to the example of the early Christians, gathering together as a united community in learning, fellowship, prayer, and in unceasing ministry to others.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you always.
Arhiepiscopia Ortodoxă Greacă din America
Biserica Ortodoxă în America
Arhiepiscopia Creştină Ortodoxă Antiohiană din America de Nord
Arhiepiscopia Ortodoxă Română în America şi Canada
Biserica Ortodoxă Sârbă din SUA şi Canada
Biserica Ortodoxă Bulgară de Est
Mitropolit NICHOLAS de Amissos
Episcopia Ortodoxă Carpato-Rusă din SUA
Biserica Ortodoxă Ucraineană din SUA
Episcop ILIA de Philomelion
Episcopia Ortodoxă Albaneză din America
Saturday September 11
- Vespers at Holy Annunciation in Cleveland.
Sunday September 12
- Divine Liturgy at the same parish
Tuesday September 14
- Elevation of the Holy Cross, Divine Liturgy at the Archdiocesan Cathedral, Chicago
Sunday September 19
- Divine Liturgy at the same church
The list of the donors for the IOCC program for Romania
|St. Mihail, Southbridge||500.00|
|St. Andrew Mississauga||+400.00|
|St. Dumitru, Toronto||300.00|
We thank to all the priest and faithful for their support to this cause. We are deeply impressed by the mobilization of some parishes and their effort for the children from Romania who need help. We do hope that the other parishes will follow their example. May God repay your donation.