November 30, 2013 - The crucifying endurance of the first called, the denial of the cross and the sufferings of man and the church

November 30, 2013

THE CRUCIFYING ENDURANCE OF THE FIRST CALLED,
THE DENIAL OF THE CROSS AND
THE SUFFERINGS OF MAN AND THE CHURCH

For three entire days and nights the divine apostle Andrew remained hung upon the cross without stopping to admonish the influx of the multitude that came to him… The powerful fortitude that the First Called Apostle had during his martyrdom shows that his ethos was that of the Cross.  

If today, in the difficult times that we are living, we observe that Christian life does not affect and convince anyone, it is that we Christians have turned our sight from the Cross of Christ. Our faith has been stripped of sacrifice. Our way of life has denied the Cross.

Orthodox spiritual practice has taught us that denial of the Cross withers the very Church and makes it foolish. It secularizes it and estranges it from its very mission. Its life then is no more than stones that became bread, comfort that denies freedom, authoritarian power that banishes truth. The criterion of authentic ecclesiastical life is acquired within historical reality in the conscious turbulent quest of its faithful. Here, Orthodox ethos is shaped and preserved because it reveals to us the mystery of the Cross of Christ. For here, man who has suffered trials meets with the suffering God who suffers with us and lifts our cross.   

FROM THE PRESENTATION GIVEN BY METROPOLITAN NEKTARIOS OF HONG KONG DURING THE PATRIARCHAL LITURGY
AT THE FEAST OF THE THRONE
NOVEMBER 30, 2012