Paschal-Lenten Reflections A. D. 2022
Christ Has Risen!
Lent formally ends on Palm Sunday. But for the sake of Christ's Suffering for our sins, Lent is extended for another week. This is a kind of public penance, and that's why we call Lent "Great Lent". Some say that Lent is not extended for one week, but begins a week earlier. Anyway, no meat for a week before Easter for the sake of Christ's Suffering.
"For the desire of money is the root of all evils" 1st Ep. of St Paul to Timothy 6:10. A Russian proverb says: "For money, he will sell his own mother." Judas sold Him Who fed him, gave him money and life.
"Then one of his disciples Judas Iscariot he that about to betray him said: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence and given to the poor? Now he said this not because he cared for the poor but because he was a thief..." St John 12,4-6. How many of those who call themselves disciples of Christ imitate Judas...
When Judas the traitor came with multitude "Then His disciples leaving Him all fled away" (St. Mark 14:50). All the eleven fled and left Him alone in the hands of His enemies. They did it shortly after Holy Communion. Today, how many those who call themselves His disciples do the same...
In the Byzantine Rite, Holy (Great) Week begins after 40 days of Lent on Monday after Palm Sunday and concludes on the evening of Holy Saturday. This year, April 18 - April 23.
On Great Thursday Our Lord instituted the Sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Priesthood. Valid Catholic bishops, priests and deacons constitute the Hierarchy of Holy Order which depends on Christ, not V2 which no longer constitute Catholic Hierarchy neither materially nor sacramentally. Therefore, for the continuation of the Hierarchy we need Christ and not heretical V2 and its "material popes".
Great Friday. Remembrance of the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. No Divine Liturgy and Holy Communion.
Great Saturday. Standing before the image of the deceased Savior, we contemplate Him in weakness, on His deathbed. Often people grumble against God when something happens that should not not have happened, they think. Perhaps most faithful have had personal bitter experiences, such as unexpected loss of loved ones, work, home... But all our sorrows can't turn our hearts away from Our Lord, because He lies for us in the tomb. He was crucified for us, laid in a tomb, and after the Resurrection He is with us "all days, even to the consummation of the world".
This year it looks like sorrow is trying to compete with joy. However, this is not a competition, since "MERCY and judgment I will sing to thee, O Lord" (Psalm 100:1). Both are the truth and both are healing and helping to grow spiritually.
Latin Rite Catholics rejoice at the Resurrection of Christ, while Byzantine Rite Catholics are sorrowful because of Passion of Christ. Is that strange? Rather, it is double sorrow and double joy.
Christ Has Risen!
PS Just yesterday, on the Holy Saturday in the Byzantine Rite we contemplated the real death of Our Savior, and today we celebrate His real Resurrection. Once again, Happy and Holy Easter to everyone! Double joy. Isn't it?