hands together

On that day, the Cross is taken in a special procession and placed in the center of the church as a sign of hope, proclaiming that the Resurrection of our Lord is near. The fact that these two important celebrations, the one dedicated to health and the other dedicated to the Cross, have a significant correlation in meaning. 

On the Cross, our Lord was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity, and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.” On the Cross, he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases, yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted, but he was wounded for our transgressions… but by his wounds, we are healed (Isiah 53:3-5). Christ identified Himself with mankinds afflictions and took them on as His own, providing healing though His philanthropic love.  

As we raise up the Cross on the third Sunday of Lent, let us remember and pray for all those that are men and women of sorrow, those that are afflicted and with infirmity and disease. Let us remember those that bear their pain in loneliness; who feel despised and rejected. Let us remember that most of the worlds population does not have access to proper health treatments due to the growing impersonal industry of modern medicine and hospital care. In addition to this, let us remember all those who live in poverty and unhealthy conditions, that do not have adequate housing or clean drinking water, and are not able to have a nutritious diet. 

As we raise the Cross, let us remember that the Lord was wounded because of our transgressions; that, in the same way, we, as a whole, are responsible for the afflictions of our fellow human beings. 

The Cross is our hope! Thus, let us remember that by way of the Cross, Christ took on our iniquities. He showed us a new way of living and caring for one another. For although we continue to reject Him, He continues to love us. Through this love, He heals our wounds and illnesses. Our hope in the Cross is in His Crucifixion that leads us to His Resurrection. The Crucified Christ invites us to be crucified with Him by serving our fellow brothers and sisters in their time of affliction, to take up their iniquities and be witnesses to a new way of life through genuine human understanding and the sharing of pain (symponia). By doing this, the light of hope for life will be rekindled in our hearts and we will be resurrected by Gods grace.

About the author :

Rev. Dr Stavros Kofinas, from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, is the moderator of the WCC Commission of the Churches on Health and Healing.


The impressions expressed in the blog posts are the contributions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policies of the World Council of Churches.