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Holy Annunciation Monastery

403 West County Road

Sugarloaf, PA 18249

Phone: 570-788-1205

Hegumena Marija

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Peace to you, dear Friend,

On Palm Sunday, 33 AD, our Lord Jesus Christ entered the Holy City, Jerusalem, to accomplish the great work of our Redemption. More than interesting information, it’s quite important that we, in 2023 AD, appreciate God’s plan for us (the economy of our salvation), part of which began in 1300 BC, to be fulfilled in 33 AD. The Book of Exodus, Chapter 12, details the first Passover: the Chosen  People, slaves of the Egyptian Pharaoh, having eaten the slain/sacrificial lamb (whose blood protected all first-born  from the Angel of Death), passed over from slavery to the Promised Land (It took 40 years to reach that Promised Land!).

It was Thursday following Palm Sunday: “At a Jewish Passover supper Jesus Christ celebrated for the first time the Mystery of the Divine Liturgy, the Passover Supper of the Church. It was the last Passover that

Christ celebrated with His disciples in His earthly life”[Commentary: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom]. The “last Passover” of Jesus is known as the Last Supper or, to Eastern Christians, the Mystical Supper.  Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, slain on the morrow, Good Friday, in His death by crucifixion is the Lamb of God, taking away the Original Sin of the World. He takes away all the sins of the world - (mine, yours, sins of all people and times).

Glory to God in the highest!

O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,

 You take away the Sin of the World, have mercy on us.

You take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer.

The last prayer of that final Passover-Mystical Last Supper is Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer, a royal last testament in which He Himself tells us what unity of belief will produce!  The faith-union of His followers will convince that He “is the One sent by God” for the world’s salvation; He is the “true Son of God” sent into the world by God His Father.

May they all be one

As You are in Me and I am in You

so that the world may believe it was You who sent Me.

May they be so completely one

That the world will realize that it was You who sent Me.

Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholicism as ecclesiastical terms are a bit passe. Today “east and west” refer to nations at war (and supporting allies).  Small steps of yesteryear are giant strides today - but going where?  

Jesus promises that “whoever eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood lives in Me and I in him”. Peace and unity are possible- but only with the help and Real Presence of our Sacramental Lord. “Wherever two or three are gathered in My Name, I am present.” Encouragement does come! To strengthen another by prayer and hope is no small gift. So, it was a boon to read a prominent theologian’s tribute to Benedictine monasteries as places where the undivided Church even today is a reality. [*note]

The Mystical Supper ended.  And Jesus went forth with His disciples

across the Kidron Valley to the garden of Gethsemane,

 to His Passion and Death by Crucifixion.

* * *

[*note] Father Olivier Clement (writing of St. Benedict) observes: There is a large measure of continuity with eastern sources of monasticism either directly quoted (from St Basil) or transmitted by Cassian, whose Conferences and Institutes are mentioned at the end of St. Benedict’s Rule. The opening of one’s heart to the abbot, the control of one’s thoughts, the registering of spiritual progress by the degrees of humility, the fundamental theme of ‘peace’, resembling Eastern hesychia, all these are marks of fidelity to the spiritual Orient, and make Benedictine monasteries still today places of the undivided Church. Moreover, the Rule, in its conclusion, defines itself as a ‘beginning’ and makes reference to the great witness of the original sources. (The Roots of Christian Mysticism p 318)



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