Our Hope of Glory
Now all things have been filled with light, both heaven and earth and those beneath the earth; so let all creation sing of Christ’s rising, by which it is established. —CANON OF PASCHA, troparion of the third ode
Today marks the beginning of Holy Week, as we are approaching the end of our Lenten journey. This week, however, is a journey unto itself, seeing that in the Church services we participate in Christ’s path to the Crucifixion and, ultimately, Resurrection.
The week begins and ends with celebration, starting with the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem and culminating with the triumph over death. Between those two crucial moments, we see Christ blessing the bread and the wine with His disciples, entering the Garden of Gethsemane, struggling in prayer, and enduring unspeakable loneliness, betrayal, and death. Though He is sorely misunderstood by so many around Him, nevertheless, in every moment, Christ is giving us Himself; we witness this emptying in especially rich, deep ways during Great and Holy Week.
The grave cannot hold the Maker of the Universe, and He breaks its power. This is the great hope we hold before us now and always: the Cross of Christ—to the world, a symbol of humiliation—now transformed into the means and the sign of the greatest hope humanity has ever known. “Through the Cross, joy has come into all the world” (Prayer after Sunday Matins Gospel).
This Holy Week—but also in the days and weeks to come—let us remember Christ’s humility and seek to imitate Him. Let us pursue Him through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, for He has emptied Himself for our sake. Let us keep the Cross ever before us and rejoice together in His victory over death!
This week’s reflection is written by His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae, of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas & Liaison to IOCC from the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States.
Icon courtesy of ArtByChimevi.com.