His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH's
“As the Cross is lifted up, it urgeth all of creation to praise the immaculate Passion of the One Who was lifted up thereon. For by means of the Cross, He slew him that slew us; and He made the dead to live again, making them beautiful, granting them the Heavens as dwelling-place, because He is compassionate, in the unsurpassed and unspeakable excess of His goodness. With joy, then, let us all exalt His Name, while magnifying His infinite condescension toward our race.” (From The Vesperal Stichera for the Elevation of the Cross)
Pastoral Message for the Feast of the Elevation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross
We greet you with love and joy on this Feast of the Elevation of the Precious and Life Giving Cross. The Sticherion from the Vespers of the feast which is quoted above transmits to us the essence of this feast. The lifting up of the Cross upon which our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ was crucified draws us near to His passion, and reminds us that He has defeated Satan and all his power once and for all. By His Passion He brought life to those who were in the tombs, restoring them to the beauty with which they had when God created them and opening up the heavens as their dwelling place. Lastly, He did this not only for those who were in the tombs, but for all of us who place our hope in Him.
Such an act can only come from a compassionate and loving God, which is our God. We glorify the Precious and Life Giving Cross, and through it we praise the Lord for the mercy, love and compassion which He pours out upon His people.
As the Cross is lifted, so may our spirits be lifted to a new life in Christ!
Yours in Christ,
+ J O S E P H
Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America