Cross Translated

Armodoxy for Today: Cross Translated

One of the greatest challenges faced by churches is one of relevance. It is a tricky issue because Jesus’ message is always relevant, but not always accessible.

The Feast of the Holy Cross, or the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is the last of the five major feast days of the Armenian Church during the calendar year. At the St. Leon, Srbots Ghevondyants Armenian Cathedral in Burbank, California, the Diocesan Primate, His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian celebrated the Divine Liturgy and offered a soul-stirring sermon which made the Holy Cross accessible to the overflow congregation that was assembled there that day.

The community in Glendale/Burbank area is made up largely of immigrants, seeking the security and freedom offered by the United States. Adjustment to the new country, especially after migrating from the Middle East is difficult. Unchecked, it is easy to get lost in the newly discovered freedoms and become a slave to materialism.

In referring to the Holy Cross, the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and what it has meant to the Armenian people, Archbishop Hovnan reflected on the need for parents and families to place their hope and trust on the steady and sacred road to good living as prescribed by the Church, for centuries. He then read a letter from a very affluent and well-known entrepreneur, who in his mid 50s found himself on his deathbed struggling with an incurable and inoperable disease. The archbishop translated the letter to Armenian as he shared it with the congregation, I will read the original English. For this community, and I personally believe for many of us, it is exactly what is necessary today and always. Here then is the letter.

I have reached the pinnacle of success in business. In other people’s eyes my life is a success. However, aside from work, I’ve had little joy. At the end of the day, wealth is just a fact I’ve gotten used to.

Right now, lying on my hospital bed, reminiscing all my life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth I took so much pride in, has faded and become meaningless in the face of imminent death.

You can hire someone to drive your car or make money for you, but you can’t hire someone to stand sick and die for you.

Material things lost can be found again. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost: Life.

Whatever stage of life we are currently at, in time we will face the day the curtain closes.

Love your family, spouse, children and friends… Treat them right. Cherish them.

As we get older, and wiser, we slowly realize that wearing a $300 or $30 watch both give the same time whether we have a $300 or $30 wallet or purse, the amount inside is the same. Whether we drive a $150,000 car or a $30,000 car, the road and the distance are the same, and we reach the same destination. Whether we drink a $1,000 or $10 bottle of wine, the hangover is the same. Whether the house in which we live is 100 or 1000 square meters, loneliness is the same.

You will realize that your true inner happiness does not come from material things of this world. Whether you travel first class or economy class, if the plane crashes, you go down with it.

Therefore, I hope you realize, when you have friends, brothers and sisters, with whom you discuss, laugh, talk, sing, talk about north-south-east or heaven and earth, this is the real happiness!!

An indisputable fact of life: Don’t raise your children to be rich. Educate them to be happy. When they grow up, they will know the value of things and not the price.

Cover: Envato Elements

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