THE SUNDAY MESSENGER
May 10, 2020
Apparition of the Holy Cross
Appearance of the Holy Cross
On May 7 in the year 351, those living in Jerusalem witnessed an intensely illumined cross appear in the sky extending from Golgotha to the Mount of Olives; a span of almost two miles. In the letter of St. Cyril the Bishop of Jerusalem to the Emperor Constantius of Constantinople, he mentions the response of those who witnessed the miracle, that as the cross remained visible for several hours, the population of Jerusalem flooded into the church to praise Jesus Christ for the miraculous sign:
But you, most pious Lord Emperor, have surpassed your father’s piety with an even greater reverence for the divine, and in your time miracles have now appeared no longer from the ground but in the heavens: the trophy of the victory which our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God, won over death – I refer to the blessed Cross – has been seen flashing like lightning over Jerusalem.
In these holy days of the Easter season, on May 7 at about the third hour, a huge cross made of light appeared in the sky above holy Golgotha extending as far as the holy Mount of Olives. It was not revealed to one or two people alone, but it appeared unmistakably to everyone in the city. It was not as if one might conclude that one had suffered a momentary optical illusion; it was visible to the human eye above the earth for several hours. The flashes it emitted outshone the rays of the sun, which would have outshone and obscured it themselves if it had not presented the watchers with a more powerful illumination than the sun. It prompted the whole populace at once to run together into the holy church, overcome both with fear and joy at the divine vision. Young and old, men and women of every age, even young girls confined to their rooms at home, natives and foreigners, Christians and pagans visiting from abroad, all together as if with a single voice raised a hymn of praise to God’s Only-begotten Son the wonder-worker. They had the evidence of their own senses that the holy faith of Christians is not based on the persuasive arguments of philosophy but on the revelation of the Spirit and power (cf. I Corinthians 2:4); it is not proclaimed by mere human beings but testified from heaven by God himself. (trans. Edward Yarnold, S.J. Cyril of Jerusalem, Routledge, 2000)
Today, the Feast of the Appearance of the Holy Cross (Երեւումն Սուրբ Խաչին) has the same effect the miracle in the sky had on those in Jerusalem. As glorious as the event in 351 was, we don’t have to look up to the sky to see the Cross. The Cross still appears in the world around us, and it compels us to gather with one another in the church to give praise to God, because the Cross has changed us, healed us, and given us true and eternal life. The Cross, and everything it stands for, has accomplished, and it reality in our lives is so powerful, it even compels us to continue gathering as best we can during times when we are unable to gather inside a church building, whether it’s curbside ministry or video conferencing. The Cross points us to the path of Jesus Christ and reminds us how to live rightly, authentically, and victoriously. Suffering and death, because of the Cross, are redeemed. Wherever there is opportunity for sacrifice, healing, forgiveness, mercy, redemption, and love in the name of Jesus Christ, there is the Cross. Pray that God opens our eyes to its appearance and look for it today.
By Dn. Eric Vozzy
TODAY’S BIBLE READINGS:
1John 1: 1-10 (page 214) New Testament
John 7: 14-23 (page 91) New Testament – (Please follow the Armenian Reading in your Bible)
REQUIEM SERVICES: Hokehankist today will be for:
OUR MOTHERS, HAYARPIE GARIBIAN & REGINA QUINN requested by Garo and Cece Garibian.
“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night….” (Nehemiah 1:5–6). Prayers are requested for Edward Tatoian, Rose Minassian, Ethel Terzian, Taron Poghosyan, Alice Charles and Armen & Theodora Mirakian.
Fund for Armenian Relief is answering the call help Armenia weather the COVID-19 crisis.
Here are some quick facts:
– We are working with the Ministry of Social Affairs and have come to the aid of 1000 of the most vulnerable families in 10 regions, e.g. Lori, Tavush, Shirak….
– These families have received food and hygienic supplies for one month!
– Your donation is put to work within 4 days of you making the donation. That is an impressive turnaround time frame.
– 100% of your donation goes to Direct Aid.
Use this link (http://www.weareayo.org) to make a donation. Every dollar counts – no amount is too small!
Der Yeprem Kelegian
Diocesan Parish Coordinator for the Fund for Armenian Relief
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!
FAR UPDATE: FAR Distributes Personal Protective Equipment to Armenia’s Hospitals – In response to Armenia’s urgent medical needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, FAR has completed its first round of distributions of personal protective equipment to the country’s healthcare workers who are at the frontlines of the
response. Nor Nork Infectious Disease Clinic, St. Grigor Lusavorich Medical Center, and the Traumatology and Orthopedics Scientific Center received full PPE packages over the past two weeks through FAR’s Healthcare Program. All three of these institutions are currently dealing exclusively with the nation’s COVID-19 patients. These necessary supplies have helped to protect 500 healthcare workers. To read more, go to: https://www.farusa.org/post/far-distributes-personal-protection-equipment-to-armenia-s-hospitals To support FAR’s Healthcare Program, go to: https://www.farusa.org/donate