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The Joy and Gladness of Sinners


The cru­ci­fix­ion of Christ the Lord and the synax­is of Archangel Gabri?el! 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 no?where to take shel­ter, except under the shad­ow of the cross. Here he ac?cepts the assur­ance that he has no for­give­ness while he stands alone before God with his sins and even with tears over them. The only sal?vation for him is in the death on the cross of the Lord. On the cross the hand­writ­ing of all sins was torn a?part (cf. Col 2:14). And each who ac?cepts 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 feel?ing of enter­ing into the state of for?giveness 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.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse