The Spiritual Meaning of the Cross - Youth Formation

Dili - Timor-Leste

 

On September 17 Fray Ruben, OP organizes the Dominican youth who are around Dili to have some faith shared experience about "cross" it was held in Dare nearby Dili, and each one bring their own lunch to share together before we start the session. Dare is a place well known as an old Church and seminarians school during Portuguese Time it has a beautiful view from the top to the Capital dili. Each youth participates in the Holy Eucharist in their own Church, which they share together in Bidau than we begin pilgrims to Dare its take 40 Km. We reach in 12:30 pm and each one take their own food to eat and also share their friends and take picture by groups, together and so on. At 14:00 we start the session with the opening song "God is love" it was in Tetum "Maromak mak domin". Fray Ruben organizes it in and divides into three groups that have a rotation.

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I. Group Lead by Mr. Elisa (Siena sisters) with the topic: The Love of God - John 15:13
God's love for us, His creation apart from sin, is graphically demonstrated in the sacrifice He has made for us. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). Jesus Christ is the only and eternal Son of God.1 He is the Alpha and Omega, 2 the Great I AM, 3 the "Strong God" 4 by whom all things were created5 and in whom all things subsist.6 Jesus , the head of all things, 7 humbled Himself in such a way that the human mind could neither bear nor think. He came to this sin-cursed world and actively participated in our sufferings. Just as we are flesh and blood, He was also.8 He became a man and dwelt among us.9 He shared the sufferings we inflicted on ourselves through our rejection of His holy precepts.10 And as if that were not enough for us convincing of his love and concern for us, Jesus, the immortal God and Giver of Life, gave His life on the cross as the greatest act of love the world has ever known! In doing this, He has freed Himself from our sins, effectively preaching on the cross with Him. Thus, He who knew no sin became sin for us, 11 and He who gives life to everything proved death in the place of those who were condemned.
God's Love - It's for you!
The love of God has been revealed to us and now He is at the door and knocks.13 It is up to each individual to seek a personal relationship with God or to reject him directly. The only barrier between us and the love of God is our free will and Jesus Christ is the door.14 Jesus answered him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14: 6). Salvation is a free gift that was purchased and paid for by the blood of Christ. There is no other way. "I do not annul the grace of God: for if righteousness is through the law, it follows that Christ died in vain" (Galatians 2:21). You can not earn God's forgiveness through good works. How could the good works you should have done all your life compensate for the countless failures? God is not a fool. "Even if you wash yourself with soda and very soap, the stain of your iniquity will remain before me ..." (Jeremiah 2:22).

God made our sin to be sin for us, that we should be made the righteousness of God in him. "(2 Corinthians 5: 18-19, 21) Will you accept the love of God today?

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WHEN DO YOU MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROOS AND WHY? (each one sahre)

  • In our signing of the Cross, we declare our discipleship to this crucified One. Those who take the cross simply by its spiritual meaning, inside the heart, without any apparent sign, do not openly manifest this discipleship, which we declare by signing the cross, by carrying the cross on our breasts, by kissing the cross in front of everybody, by drawing it on our hands, and by raising it above the places in which we worship. With all this, we openly declare our faith, and we are not ashamed of the Cross of Christ in front of people, but rather we boast of it, we hold fast to it, we celebrate feasts for it. Even without speaking, our plain aspect manifests our faith. 
  • In making the sign of the cross, we also declare our belief in Incarnation and Redemption: When we make the sign of the cross from upward to downward, and from the left side to the right side, we remember that God has come down from heaven downward to our earth, and transported people from the left side to the right side, from obscurity to light, and from death to life; and how many are the meditations which come to our hearts and minds from the signing of the cross! 
  • We remember forgiveness in the Cross, how our sins were forgiven on the Cross, and how our Lord addressed the heavenly Father saying (while He was on the Cross): "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34).
  • In the signing of the cross, there is a religious instruction for our sons and for others: Whoever makes the sign of the cross, when he prays, when he enters the church, when he eats, when he sleeps, and at every moment, he  remembers the Cross. This remembrance is spiritually useful and scripturally desirable. In it there is also an instruction for people, that Christ was crucified, and an instruction especially for our small children who grow from their childhood being used to the cross.
  • In making the sign of the cross, we remember the love of God for us. We remember that the cross is a sacrifice of love. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). We remember that "God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us… and we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son" (Rom. 5: 8,10). In the Cross, we remember the love of God for us, because "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John: 15:13). Written By H.H. Pope Shenouda Iii. 
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  1. Group sr. Yeni: THE POWER OF THE CROSS

We make the sign of the cross because it gives us power. The apostle Saint Paul felt that power of the Cross, and said: "by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Gal. 6:14). And he also said: "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Cor. 1:18). Note that he did not say that the crucifixion is the power of God, but he said that the simple word of the cross is the power of God. Therefore when we make the sign of the cross, and when we mention the cross, we are filled with power; because we remember that the Lord trampled death by the cross, and He granted life to everybody, and forced and defeated Satan. Therefore, we make the sign of the cross, because Satan dreads it: All the labor of Satan since he fought Adam until the end of time, has been lost on the Cross, because the Lord has paid the price, and erased all the sins of people with His blood, for those who believe and obey. Thus, whenever Satan sees the cross, he is terrified and remembers his greatest defeat and the loss of his labor, and so he is ashamed and runs away. Thus all the sons of God constantly use the sign of the cross, considering that it is the sign of conquest and victory, that it is the power of God. As for our part, we are filled with power inside. But the enemy outside is scared. And as in ancient times the bronze serpent was lifted up, as a healing for people and salvation from death, even so the Lord of glory was lifted up on the Cross. (John 3:14). Thus is the sign of the cross in its effect.

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WHAT DO YOU EXPIRIENCE IN FROM OF THE CROSS? (each one share )

  • We honor the cross, because it is a subject of joy for the Father: The Father who has accepted Christ on the cross with all joy, as a sin sacrifice and also as "a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord" (Lev.1: 5,13,17). The Lord Christ has satisfied the Father with the perfection of His life on earth, but He entered into the fullness of this satisfaction on the Cross, where He "became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:8). Each time we look at the cross, we remember the perfection of obedience, and the perfection of subjection, in order to imitate the Lord Christ in his obedience, to the point of death. As the cross was a subject of joy for the Father, so also it was a subject of joy as regards the Son who was crucified, of whom it was said: "who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame" (Heb. 12:2). Thus was the fullness of Christ's joy in His crucifixion. May we be like that. 


 
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