It is Holy Friday today, my beloved and brethren fellow-sinners, a holy day full of memories, a day which calls forth strong emotions and tears.
The Beginning of the Cross: Saturday of Lazarus “Having fulfilled Forty Days… we ask to see the Holy Week of Thy Passion.”With these words sung at Vespers of Friday, Lent comes to its end and we enter into the annual commemoration of Christ’s suffering, death and Resurrection.
Joseph was the eleventh son of the Patriarch Jacob, born to him of Rachel. Envied by his brothers on account of certain dreams that he had, he was first cast into a pit. Jacob was deceived by his other sons into believing, on the basis of a bloodstained robe, that Joseph had been devoured by a wild beast. Joseph was then sold to some Ishmaelite travellers for thirty pieces of silver. The Ishmaelites in turn sold him to Potiphar, the chief eunuch of Pharaoh, the King of Egypt.
Lazarus was a Hebrew by birth and a Pharisee by profession, and, as has been ascertained, was a son of Simon the Pharisee, from the village of Bethany. When our Lord Jesus Christ was sojourning in the land for the salvation of our race, Simon was united to Him in friendship. Since Christ was constantly conversing with Simon, in view of the latter’s professed belief in the resurrection of the dead, and frequently visited his house, Lazarus became His close friend, and not only Lazarus himself, but also his two sisters, Martha and Mary.
One of the most famous shrines of Constantinople, the Zoodochos Pege, is located outside the land walls to the west of the city, at the site now known as Balikli. Two versions of a very old tradition provide information on the origins of this ancient shrine.
Bright Week, otherwise known as Renewal Week, begins on Pascha Sunday and ends on the following Sunday of Thomas. The name probably originates from the fact that the newly baptized catechumens from Pascha are newly illumined and bright. For them it is a time of regeneration and renewal.
The Resurrection of Christ, the premier event in the mystery of the divine economy, gives us each year the opportunity to delve into this event and little by little to engage the mystery of the Resurrection with our own resurrection. Besides, this is the purpose for the establishment of the annual festive cycle of Pascha.
Death is a catastrophe for man; this is the basic principle of the whole of Christian anthropology. Man is an amphibious being, both spiritual and corporeal, and so he was created by God. Body belongs organically to the unity of human existence. And this was perhaps the most striking novelty in the original Christian message. The preaching of the Resurrection as well as the preaching of the Cross was foolishness and a stumbling–block to Gentiles.
a) The Cross leads to the Resurrection, Great Friday bears fruit on the bright Sunday of Easter. Sorrow, listlessness and despair make way for the joy and peace of the Resurrection. Without the Cross, the Resurrection is inconceivable and without the Resurrection the Cross has no point. It might be better to say that the […]
The importance of this unity is reflected in the chief sacrament, the Divine Eucharist, which is transmitted to the Church today. To be in communion with God, you have first to be in communion with other people. The Lord behaves towards Judas in the same way as He does towards the other disciples, even though He knows he will betray Him. All the actions of His presence on earth combine to reconcile human nature and morals and to show them the real human image as made by God, as made to love.