THE CHRIST HAD TO SUFFER AND SO ENTER HIS GLORY
A reading from the addresses of St. Anastasius of Antioch
By His words and actions Christ has showed Himself to be true God and Lord of the universe, but when He was about to go up to Jerusalem He said to His disciples: ‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man will be delivered to the Gentiles and the priests and scribes to be scourged and mocked and crucified.’ What He said was in accordance with the predictions of the prophets, who had foretold the death which was to be His in Jerusalem. Sacred scripture had foretold from the beginning Christ’s death and the sufferings which preceded His death. But is also proclaims what happened to His dead body after His death, and declares that the God to whom this happened is impossible and immortal. If He really was God, then the truth of the incarnation, when examined, when examined, must provide us with reasons for duly acknowledging both His passion and His impassibility, and the reason why the Word of God, otherwise impassible, came to His passion. Indeed man could be saved in no other way; Christ alone knows this, and those to whom He has revealed it: for He knows all that is the Father’s, as the Spirit explores the deepest mysteries.
It was necessary that Christ suffer; it was completely impossible that the passion should not take place. Christ Himself affirmed this when He called slow and foolish those who did not know that the Christ had to suffer in this way and enter His glory. He left behind the glory which He had with His Father before the world was made and went forth for the salvation of His people. Salvation was the perfection which had to be achieved through the passion and attributed to the author of life was made perfect through His suffering. For a brief time for our sake He had left the glory of the only-begotten Son, but this glory is somehow seen to be restored to Him through the cross in the human nature He had taken. For Saint John states in his Gospel, explaining the Saviour’s words, that water flowed like rivers from the heart of the believer: ‘This He said about the Holy Spirit which those who believed in Him were to receive: for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified’; He calls His death on the cross glory. That is why in His prayer before undergoing the cross the Lord asked the Father to glorify Him with that glory which He had with the Father before the whole world was made.
Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, You brought us healing through the Easter mysteries. Lead us to the perfect freedom, by which the joy that gladdens our way on earth will be fulfilled in heaven. Amen.
Taken from THE DIVINE OFFICE II – LENT AND EASTERTIDE – The Office of Reading – The Second Reading, pages 379-380.
A Christian Pilgrim