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The Cross Of Joy

The cru­ci­fix­ion of Christ the Lord and the syn­ax­is of Arch­an­gel Ga­bri­el! A new con­sol­ing com­bi­na­tion! Ga­bri­el pro­claims be­fore­hand the birth of the Fore­run­ner; Ga­bri­el brings good ti­dings to the Vir­gin; he, very like­ly, pro­claim­ed the joy of the birth of the Sav­iour; no one else pro­claim­ed to the wo­men a­bout the res­ur­rec­tion of Christ the Lord. There­fore Ga­bri­el is the her­ald and bear­er of ev­ery joy. The cru­ci­fix­ion of Christ is the joy and glad­ness of all sin­ners. A sin­ner, com­ing to a feel­ing of his sin­ful­ness and of the all-righ­teous truth of God, has no­where to take shel­ter, ex­cept un­der the shad­ow of the cross. Here he ac­cepts the as­sur­ance that he has no for­give­ness while he stands alone be­fore God with his sins and even with tears over them. The on­ly sal­va­tion for him is in the death on the cross of the Lord. On the cross the hand­writ­ing of all sins was torn a­part (cf. Col 2:14). And each who ac­cepts this with com­plete faith is made a par­tic­i­pant in this mys­tery of for­give­ness. As this faith rip­ens, con­fi­dence of for­give­ness rip­ens as well, and al­so com­fort from the feel­ing of en­ter­ing in­to the state of for­give­ness for all ages. The cross is the source of joy, be­cause a sin­ner drinks with faith from it the joy of for­give­ness. In this sense, it is in its own way an arch­an­gel, bring­ing good ti­dings of joy.

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