In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
Together with the Holy Scriptures we proclaim that our Lord Jesus
Christ is King, Prophet and High Priest of all Creation. And the
Lord has told us that in the Christian Church and in the Kingdom, a
King is not one who overpowers others to exact from them
unconditional and slavish obedience, but He is the one who serves
and gives His life for others. St. John Chrysostom teaches us that
anyone can rule, but that no one but a king gives his life for his
people, because he so identifies with his people that he has no
existence, no life, no purpose but to serve them with all his life
and if necessary with his death.
When we keep the Feast of the Cross we can realise with new
strength, perceive with new depth what the Kingship of our Lord
Jesus Christ means. It means a love for us so complete, so total
that He can forget Himself ultimately, without any reservation,
forget Himself to the point of existing, of living and of dying for
us and together with us; forgetting Himself to such an extent, and
identifying Himself with us in such a way that in His humanity He
accepts the loss of the perception of His oneness with God, with the
source of life eternal - indeed, with life eternal within Himself,
and become one with our deadness, with our mortality. This is the
love that makes our Lord Jesus Christ our worthy King; this is a
Kingship which makes every knee to bow before Him.
And it is because He is such that He can also be the High Priest of
all Creation. The high priests of the pagan world as well as the
High Priests of Israel brought forth as a sacrifice victims with
which they identified only metaphorically, symbolically, ritually.
The Lord Jesus Christ brought as a victim His own Self, although
there was nothing in Him that condemned Him to the death He has
taken upon Himself. Doesn't He say in His High-priestly prayer,
talking to His disciples that the adversary is coming near, but
there is nothing in Him - in Christ - that belongs to him. There is
nothing in Christ which belongs in the realm of death and of sin.
And to His Father He says: I sanctify Myself for them, I bring
Myself as a holy offering for My people. The High Priest who brings
Himself frees thereby all other creatures from the horror of
blood-offering, but confronts us with an immensity, a depth of love
divine which otherwise we could not even fathom: life accepting to
be quenched, light accepting to go out, eternity accepting to die
the mortality of a fallen world.
And that is why the Word of God can speak to us as a Prophet. A
prophet is not one who foretells the future; a prophet is one who
speaks for God. One of the prophets of old says that a prophet is
one with whom God shares His thoughts. Christ, the Word of God,
Christ, the perfect image of Love divine, Christ who not only speaks
for God, but who acts, enacts in His life and in His death the Love
of God, sacrificial, total, perfect, given ...
And this is why the Feast of the Cross is such a wonder in the
experience of the Church. We will never be able to experience what
it meant for Him to die upon the Cross, even our own death cannot
disclose to us what His death was: how can Immortality die? But what
we can learn, what we can discover by communing ever more deeply,
ever more perfectly through a daring, wholehearted endeavour with
the life, and the teaching, and the ways of Christ - what we can
learn is to love in a way that approximates more and more to that
love divine, and discover in this love the quality which unites
death as forgetfulness of self, ultimate and perfect, with the
victory of love, Resurrection and eternal life. Amen.