(Mark.8, 34-9.1)

Today our Church projects the bloodstained Cross of our Lord and invites the faithful to venerate it with spiritual joy and sacred yearning. We venerate the Holy Cross of Christ, Who willingly was crucified on it.

My brothers, there is a deep symbolism in the Holy Cross and there are countless spiritual gifts and benefits we receive when we approach and honor the Lord’s Cross with faith. At the same time, it proclaims how great the value of our soul is, since the Son of God Himself died on the Cross for its salvation.

In today's Gospel, we heard our Lord associate the Cross with the salvation of the soul, pointing out that all the treasures of this earth are not as worthy as a soul! "What will man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8: 37), since the whole world cannot compensate for the value of a single soul!

By the way, have we ever thought that we put our immortal soul to shame and condemnation when we restrict all of our time, our strength and our interest to the pleasures and satisfaction of the needs of our body, and do not think much of the spiritual needs of our soul? Really, how much time do we spend for the spiritual needs of our soul? I am afraid that our answer will be disappointing! This is very strange! We do everything possible in order to satisfy the needs of our body, which lasts for a few decades only, while we do not pay so much attention for the needs of our soul that will live forever!       

The Lord once asked the question: "Isn’t the body more important than its garment?" (Matthew 6:25). I wonder, how would we characterize someone who would spend all his money and most of his time in order to acquire nice and expensive clothes, being careful not to wear them so as not to dirty them; and on the other hand, he would not be concerned at all about the needs of his body? For example, if the food he eats is healthy; if the water he drinks is clean; if the atmosphere is clean, and if his illnesses may be healed?  Surely, we would say that something is wrong with his mind and that he needs treatment. Therefore, do all of us, who pay attention only to the needs of our body and show indifference for the needs of our soul, need treatment, too?

What do you suggest we must do? Although our soul is immeasurably more precious than our body, at least we must do the elemental things we do for our body:

  • If we do not breathe, our bodies cannot live. The breath of the soul is prayer. Let us allow time for our soul to pray to its Creator in order to be revitalized! Either with short prayers, during the day, or with family prayers at home or with common prayers in the Church.
  • Water enlivens the body; without water the body dies. The word of God is "Living water" (John 4:10), i.e., the Holy Bible, which the Church offers to us daily to quench our thirst and become stronger. Let us not forget the careful daily study of the word of God, which is necessary for our soul.

Without food the body is weakened and dies. The same happens to the soul of the Christian who does not receive Holy Communion. Jesus Himself has said: "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” For my flesh is food indeed, and my Blood is drink indeed” (John 6: 53-55).

When we get sick, we go to the doctor. Let us do the same thing for the wounds of the soul caused by sin. Let us go to our Spiritual Father to purify us through the Mystery of Repentance and Confession.

My brothers, today, Sunday of the Holy Cross, we are in the midst of the Great Lent. Let us therefore intensify our concern for the spiritual feeding and salvation of our soul, for which Christ was crucified!

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