Fr. Jerry John Mathew
(Vicar: St. Mary’s Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church, Detroit)
Dear ones in Christ,
Passion of Christ is depicted in the teachings of the Church as the pinnacle of the divine expression of Love that enticed God to perform the salvific intervention in the history of the creation. God has always been the source of liberation. Through the act of ‘becoming’ in the New Testament, God, the embodiment of permanence, purchased the expensive salvation by accepting the temporality of pain and death. Cross was a junction where the entirety of Godliness met with the limits of humanness. The force of this divine-human intrusion was so great that God shared to human, the nature of God, at the cost of pain and death, which the creation had inherited due to the first sin. God took to Godself, the consequence of the sin of the creation and delivered to it, the possibility of liberation. Liberation was thus achieved upon cross, where God sacrificed God’s own self as the cost of redemption of the entire creation. This Divine act of Redemption on cross is commemorated by the Church as the Great Friday. If cross is the sign of the expression of the Divine Love, the open tomb is the sign of realization of It. The past notion of being other-worldly, was replaced by God through the resurrection, where the eternal gospel of Immanuel- God with us- is proclaimed. God has erected the painful sign of cross and the glorified sign of the open tomb, and shared this chance of eternal liberation within the Church, into which the entire creation is welcomed to partake in the mystic experience of Divine Love. The observance of the Great Lent and experience of the Holy week prepare us for this enlivening of the Divine: partaking of Life from God and sharing of Life to the creation. I wish you all a very blessed Holy week.