Walking With Christ To His Death & Resurrection




On Holy Thursday, we remember the washing of the disciples’ feet by Christ, the institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, and the betrayal of Christ by Judas. And then, this evening, in anticipation, we celebrate the Matins of Holy Friday with the readings of the Twelve Passion Gospels. From the glory of the institution of the Holy Eucharist, we quickly descend into the depths of our Lord’s suffering out of His unsurpassed love for us.

One of the hymns of the Vesperal Liturgy commemorating the Last Supper proclaims: 

He, whom Isaiah proclaimed to be the Lamb, comes to His voluntary slaughter. He gives His back to whips and His cheeks to blows. He turns not away His face from the shame of spitting. He is sentenced to a shameful death. The sinless One willingly accepts it all, so that He might grant to all the resurrection from the dead.

And then, after the fifth Gospel of the Holy Friday Matins service, the depth of our Lord’s passion confronts us in the unforgettable hymn: 

Today, He who suspended the earth in the waters is suspended on a cross. The King of the angels wears a crown of thorns. He who wraps the sky in clouds is wrapped in a fake purple robe. He who freed Adam in the Jordan accepts to be slapped. The Bridegroom of the Church is fixed with nails to the cross. The Son of the Virgin is pierced with a spear. We worship Your Passion, O Christ. Show us also Your glorious Resurrection! 

His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, like the proceeding hymns, ties God’s loving passion to the resurrection when he writes: 

Christian hope does not proceed from an ill-defined optimism; it is not related to a utopian illusion… The resurrectional hope does not refer to some indefinite idea, but is connected to one Person, the Theanthropos Jesus Christ, who voluntarily suffered terrible tortures, was crucified, and who finally defeated death. 

What our brothers and sisters yearn for, in the isolated corners of Africa, Albania, or even in the outskirts of the large and wealthy cities of the West, are not vague words of consolation, a few material goods, some educational or medical programs, and other such crumbs of civilization. In their loneliness and depression, they consciously or unconsciously hunger for human dignity, hope, and the transcendence of death. In the end, they desire the living Christ, the perfect God-Man who is ‘the way, the truth, and the life.

In these final days of Holy Week, we are to be crucified with Christ to share in a death like His so that we might share in His resurrection! This is the resurrectional hope that we are called to share with the world. Click below to discover how OCMC is sharing the resurrectional hope and how you can support it.


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May Gifts, One Body, For the Glory of God!