Thursday, May 19, 2016

Met Georges Khodr: The Constant Pascha

Arabic original here.

The Constant Pascha

Pascha means passage: originally, the passage of the Hebrews from Egypt, the land of slavery, to the Promised Land, Palestine. When Christians adopted the word, they meant their passage in Christ from sin to freedom and salvation. Does the ordinary Christian understand  that the feast is his invitation to seek salvation? If he understands, he does not remain prisoner to the earth, to the things and people of the earth. Christianity is that you sense that you live by Christ, of Him and in Him. That is, that you do not remain attached to anything or anyone of the world. If you are transported to the face of Jesus, you do not remain prisoner to any other face. Do faces distract you? You cannot see them and see Him. In this is the secret of your longing for Him.

This world is distracting. If you pursue it, the you have no Christ. Leave it, then, go away from it, and acquire your freedom. The secret of Christianity is that you do not serve God in thoughts and intellectual achievement, but you worship Him if you see only the face of Christ and faces disappear. The truth is, those who have known divine longing have known Christ, even if they did not give Him a name. The world is distracting. You pass through it and it does not remain, because it is a seductive face. You transcend it, lest you miss the Savior's face.

Go to Him, for His face is the object of pilgrimage. Pass in Christ to Him, for there is nothing after Him. If you can pass by all things without being detained by them, then you sense that you are free. If you reach Him, then you should sense nothing else, because everything else is evil for you.

I did not say not to see faces. I said do not stop at a face. Then you will be in Pascha. On the day of the feast, we recite "Christ is risen" more than sixty times, as though this Church hadn't composed any other hymn. What would you chant, if you wanted? What could be added to "Christ is risen"? Pass always, then, with this hymn until yourself rise from the dead. Then you will see that you live.

In the Byzantine Church, the crucified Christ is depicted with His eyes open. The meaning is that even if He died in the body, death did not defeat Him. Consequently, this means that the Lord remained alive upon the cross. In what is perceived, He died, but dead did not defeat Him. Therefore, let us not stop at Good Friday as though it is His death, but let us see it as a station on the way to His resurrection.

No comments: