Articles17.04.2022

Christ enters solitude

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.


Today, from this day on, Christ enters not only into His sufferings, but into that terrible loneliness that envelops Him during all the days of Passion Week. It starts with a misunderstanding. People expect that the Lord's entry into Jerusalem will be a solemn procession of a political, popular leader who will free his people from oppression, from slavery, from what they considered godlessness, because all paganism, idolatry is a denial of the Living God.
This loneliness will develop further in a terrible misunderstanding even on the part of His disciples. At the Last Supper, when the Savior will speak to them for the last time, they will always be perplexed about the meaning of His words. And further, when He enters the Garden of Gethsemane to face the terrible death that lies ahead of Him, the disciples whom He has chosen, Peter, John and James, who are closest to Him, will fall asleep from despondency, and from fatigue, and from despair...
And, finally, the last step into this loneliness will be the cry of Christ from the cross: My God, My God, why did You leave me? Abandoned by people, rejected by the people of Israel, He enters the ultimate abandonment and dies without God, without people, alone, only with His love for God and with His love for people, dying for the sake of some, dying for the glory of the Other.
The beginning of the passions of the Lord is today's solemn procession. People were waiting for the king, the leader - they found the Savior of their souls. Nothing so hardens a man as lost hope, as disappointed hope. And this explains that the people who met Him in this way, who witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus, His miracles over people, heard His teaching, admired His every word, were ready to become His disciples, if only victory would come with this, these people are from Him. broke away, turned away, and after a few days began to shout: “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” throughout Her life, participated in His tragic ascent to the Cross. The Mother of God, Who accepted the Gospel, but also accepted, silently, the prophetic word of Simeon that the sword would go through Her heart too...
We will be part of the crowd that surrounded Christ, His disciples and the Mother of God. And when we listen to the gospel reading, hear the prayers of the Church, when, image after image, the scenes of these passionate days pass by, we will begin to pose the question to ourselves every day: “Where am I, who am I in this crowd: a Pharisee? scribe? traitor? coward? who? .. Or I stand among the apostles - but they were defeated by fear! Peter denied three times, Judas betrayed, John, James and Peter fell asleep when Christ most of all needed human love, the other disciples fled - no one was left except John and the Mother of God, those who were connected with Christ with such love that does not fear , such a love that is ready to share everything ...
And again we will put before ourselves the question: who are we, where are we? Where are we in this crowd? Do we stand in hope or in despair? And if we stand with insensibility, then we, too, are part of this terrible crowd that surrounded Christ, which moved, listened - and left, as we will leave the temple ... The Cross will stand here on Thursday, we will read the Gospel of the Cross, oh crucifixion, death - and then what will happen? The cross will remain standing, and we will go to rest, go home, go to dinner, sleep, rest, prepare for the fatigue of the next day. And Christ at this time on the Cross, Christ in the tomb. What a horror it is that we cannot, like the disciples in their time, spend one hour, one night with Him…
Let's think about it; and if we are unable to do anything, then at least we will understand who we are, where we are, and turn to Christ even at the last hour with an exclamation, with the prayer of a thief: Remember me, Lord, in Your Kingdom!

Amen.

 

Sermon by Metropolitan Anthony of Surozh on Palm Sunday, March 30, 1980.

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