On the third Sunday of Lent the Orthodox Church wants us to contemplate the message of the Cross of Christ. We have reached the midpoint of our journey toward Pascha and the Cross both refreshes and reminds us that in life there is suffering. Father Gregory shares with us that no one is immune to earthly affliction and suffering, but if we choose to bear the crosses we have been given, the result is salvific in nature. By embracing our own suffering, we are empowered and take control of our lives. The three lessons learned are that God loves us and does everything for our good. By practicing gratitude, we are reminded that suffering will pass. And through self-examination and repentance we can begin to take up our cross and follow Jesus Christ.