Today: April 17 2019
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These days we are called to become accomplices of the Passion of Christ. Metropolitan of Africa, Afanasios of Limassol

These days we are called to become accomplices of the Passion of Christ. Metropolitan of Africa, Afanasios of Limassol

Tags: Religion, Christianity

In the Church, we not only remember the story that happened two thousand years ago. These exciting events there appear in a completely different light. Holidays have a deep spiritual significance in the life of the Church. The experience of the saints shows that the events taking place in the earthly Church have a direct and organic connection with the heavenly Church of God, the Church of the Angels and Saints. In these exceptional days, we are called to share in grace and become complicit in the event that unfolds before us.

But in order for us to be able to join these events, we need preparation, we need to know what happened exactly these days. If we come unprepared for worship, without understanding anything, we ourselves deprive ourselves. Perhaps when we see the Crucifixion or the Shroud, something will resonate in our heart, but genuine involvement in what is happening is possible only if we are properly prepared. And how to properly prepare? If these days we are focused and will not be distracted by a thousand things, if we attend all the services, if we pray, if we read, if we ask God for prayer, so that we too feel something, then surely the All-Bountiful God and Father our will give us what we ask. In order that the suffering of Christ remain in us so that we do not grumble when we face difficulties, that we descend from heaven to earth and understand that this is our way in this world. If we want to follow Christ, we will go through two terrible things: first, the rejection of worldly success, and secondly, the voluntary acceptance of our suffering. We must understand this. We are not seeking worldly prosperity and recognition, so do not be tempted when the world pushes us, when we face pain, suffering, the sacrifice - all this is necessary for us to follow Christ, have a relationship of love with Him.

In the event of the passions of Christ, Christ himself occupies a central place. All that Christ endured for us - spitting, hushing, scolding, thorns, bile - everything that the Church describes in such detail is needed not to make us sorry for Christ, but to help us love Him. To show us how Christ loved us, and to encourage our heart to love Him. That, in the love of Him, we are saved and eternally lived with Him. So, the passions of Christ are the cause of not sorrow, but of salvation. Similarly, the Cross of the Lord, by which Christ was put to death, became life-giving, became a sign of life, salvation and joy, and thus ceased to be the instrument of murder and curse, as it was before. God himself calls him the sign of the Son of Man.

When we look at the icon of the Crucifixion, we see that Christ is full of holy dignity: it is obvious that He went to suffering voluntarily, that He is the Lord of what is happening, and not a victim of fate and human malice. Christ is the King of Glory, the priesthood in the Sacrament of the salvation of man through suffering and the Cross and granting the resurrection. Of course, if someone looks at Christ and His suffering in a human way, then he will feel pity. However, the Church represents to us the God-man of Christ, who saved man. Christ is a victim of human malice, not full of pity. He as the Great Bishop brought Himself to God, became a sacrifice and revealed to us the gates of Paradise. The Church, when it depicts Christ, the Mother of God and the saints, presents to us not only the circumstances and the history of the event, but at the same time conveys what is meant, that is, what is not visible - the very essence. Yes, Christ on the Cross, He suffers and dies. But the Cross would be an end quite sad and human, if the Resurrection did not come. Therefore, in the end, the Cross is moved aside, and the Resurrection dominates. Every week the Church celebrates not the crucifixion, but the Resurrection. It is the foundation and center of the Church. Based on the Resurrection, the Church lives its whole life.

The open heart of the Church / Trans. with Novogreach. A. Volgina, A.A. Saminskaya. - M .: Publishing House of the Sretensky Monastery, 2014.

Metropolitan of Africa, Athanasius of Limassol
Russian Athos
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