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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