The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (4:14-5:6) and The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (8:34-9:1)
On the third Sunday of Great and Holy Lent we mark a wonderful event. We have now reached the halfway point of this great and holy struggle. The Church is a wise mother and she knows her children well. She has seen their struggles over two millennia and in the midst of their struggles and trials and tribulations, she has raised up countless numbers of saints from among her children.
So today as we celebrate the third Sunday of Lent, Our mother, the Church, brings forth the remembrance and the image of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ to strengthen us and to encourage us during this difficult time of fasting and prayer. In the life of a Christian, nothing is more frightening or painful than to look at oneself and ones failings before God and to examine his or her life and repent honestly and truly. If it was easy, everyone would become saints. If it was easy Our Lord Jesus Christ would have said “The way is large and wide and many enter it!” But our blessed Master does not say that at all. He says “The way is narrow and there are few who find it.”
Yet the Church reminds us that even in the midst of these difficult days of repentance, we should keep going, keep pressing on towards God. And as we begin to grow tired of fasting and repentance and struggle, the Church brings out her most powerful treasure. She shares with us the trophy of the victory of the Lord Jesus Christ, which has become our victory as well. How can we not be comforted whenever we see the image of the cross of Christ? How can we not have our wounds soothed by that beautiful image of God’s love for us?