ILLUMINED BY THE CROSS (Holy & Great Friday)

The wise thief You made worthy of Paradise in a single moment, O Lord. By the wood of Your Cross, illumine me as well, and save me!” (Exaposteilarion or Light-Hymn, Holy & Great Friday)
How is it possible, to be “illumined” by something as dark and gruesome as the Cross? I don’t know, but it is so, ever since the Source of Light elevated Himself on it, on a hilltop just outside Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. His light is there, whenever we are open to seeing it, amidst our cross-carrying difficulties, pain, suffering, rejections, losses, agonies. Illumine me as well, as I walk through things rather than avoid them, following where You lead, our death-trampling Lord. And remember us all, as we grieve at Your cross today, when You come into Your kingdom!