Thursday, October 03, 2013
Gebre Meskel and St. Gregory, Illuminator of Armenia
Gebre Meskel = Ge'ez for Holy Cross - the designation of the festival of the exaltation of the cross. Fr. John begins this festival sermon by talking about the history of the "raising up of the cross" from its buried place in Jerusalem after almost three centuries. St. Helen the mother of Emporer Constantine secured the location and brought the cross to Constantinople.
It is a significant festival for Orthodox Christians full of symbolism, allegory and metaphor. The cross is no longer hidden. The symbol of torture and death has become the symbol for healing and life.
The glory of the cross is a major part of the Teaching of St Gregory the Illuminator, who is considered the father of the Armenian Church. He uses Psalm 117 where David refers to the "corners of the altar" as prophecy of the cross and its symbol for Christians.
In the sign of the cross is mercy and gratitude for us and the entire world. St. Gregory explains this symbol and its power. Fr John Brian gives and inspiration homiletic on this important writing from one of the Orthodox fathers and saints.
Please pray for Fr. John Brian who continues to encourage us in the continuing development of Christian spirituality.
This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, September 29, 2013 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.
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