The Triumph of the Cross ~ The Rev. Deacon Joshua Hatten, OPI
Today the celebrates the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. Now, some of you may be asking what in the world is triumphant about an instrument of torture and death and WHY are we celebrating it?
What we celebrate today is the triumph of eternal life over death, infinite love over overwhelming evil. The VICTORY of our Lord, through humility, over the arrogance of Satan.
It seems so easy for us to make small sacrifices in small areas of our lives. We give up that candy bar, coffee, or profanity for the 40 days of Lent. We need to drop five pounds, so we don’t “biggie size” our burger and fries for a few weeks. We really want to see that particular movie next weekend, so we save up this week. But what about the bigger picture??
We do seem to have trouble, usually, of making, in the much more important and far greater purpose of our earthly existence… which is where we wind up AFTER it ends. The answer to WHERE we wind up AFTER starts in our here and now – in our daily life – in how we fight or give in to those daily spiritual battles. What our response, here and now, to the occasions of sin, innumerable temptations and other potential woes that are laid before us OFTEN, daily.
Do we value the things of the world over the values of God’s Kingdom? What aspects and pieces of our lives are we willing to nail to the cross, as often as is necessary, and let die so that we may live with victory? Are we willing to put on the humility, as our Lord did, to make us capable of bearing, overcoming and triumphing over these earthly parts of our lives to bring ourselves, through our faith in Christ Jesus, to life everlasting?
It all begins with the first step of KNOWING that we cannot do it of our own accord. WE MUST HUMBLE OURSELVES before ALMIGHTY GOD, assured that alone we are doomed to failure, and ask for his saving grace and guidance and Fatherly Love. It is only after taking this step, WITH FAITH, that we can even find ourselves on the beginning of the right path. It is a choice, and I encourage all of us to begin TODAY, EVERYDAY, AS OFTEN AS IS NECESSARY, to examine our spiritual states and take the hammer and nails to anything separating us from living life as a true disciple of Christ.
Is it easy? NO!! Is it worth it?? YES; the rewards are far beyond what we can begin to comprehend. We must be humble enough to trust God to be God and KNOW that His promises and assurances of recompense for living for him will not and cannot return void.
Let’s face it… none of us are getting out of this earth alive. Our days will end will a last breath or the return of our Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ. Either way, shall we be judged and rewarded as victors and receive a crown of eternal glory, or will we continue to live our here and now, falling into Satan’s snares, and have our days in this world end with eternal separation from God Almighty??
CHOOSE, HERE and NOW… take up your crosses and CARRY THEM TO VICTORY, to a TRIUMPHANT FINISH, through a humble way of living for and in GOD. Only this, through faith in our Blessed Lord, can we turn our woes into WOWS and our death into an eternal existence of heavenly happiness.
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