In the name of empty triumphalism
Great Lent is coming to an end. Now is the day of remembrance of Mary of Egypt. As we noted last time, these are purely monastic memories. And they should give inspiration to the deeds of monks. But people living in the world have something useful to draw.
It is clear that we cannot literally imitate Mary of Egypt, and this is not required of us. We cannot live in the desert for decades and eat pasture. This is not the main thing. The main thing is why St. Mary decided to radically change her life. Because she loved God. She fell in love with the Lord and realized how completely her life was not pleasing to Him. This is the feeling that we are living wrong – it is the beginning of all repentance. That is why the memory of Mary of Egypt is so important to each of us.
On this day the Gospel is read, which also acts on us rather sobering. The disciples come to Jesus and ask that He make them ministers in his future kingdom. But Christ had just told them that the prophecies were being fulfilled, that He would be captured and killed now … On the third day He will rise again … No, they did not hear Him. They wanted to hear something of their own. This is a very unpleasant, but very accurate image of the Christianity of many of us.
What do we expect from Christianity? What do we expect from Christ? That He will become King and make our life perfect? Will all enemies fall left and right in front of us? Will everything work out with us? Will we have wealth, health, power? Or is Christ still expecting something else from us, and everything else may or may not be? This is a very important question that we ask today as we listen to the gospel.
Christ asks: can you drink the cup of suffering that I drink? A cup of communion with God. Can you be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized? It is clear that the Greek text speaks of immersion, of purification. Can you do it? Pupils do not understand. And they calmly answer: yes, we can. And we answer in the same way: yes, Lord, we can! We are now a little missionary, a little catechization, and everything in Russia will be great! Everything will work out right here in our life! As soon as we tell everyone about God, everyone will be fine.
Well, have we not yet understood over these centuries that an act reaches people, and not just a spoken word. In the name of what and what you are doing, that’s what matters. The disciples came to understand the words of Christ only after the Resurrection. In a week we will remember the Holy Week, that is, the Crucifixion of the Lord. Everyone ran away. Everyone thought only of earthly dominion, and everything seemed to go towards this. What are you, Lord, talking about some kind of torment and suffering ?! This is probably allegory. Well, it’s necessary. But it turned out – no.
Of course, this does not mean that the Lord should enter into our lives with suffering, shameful death, torment, betrayal. But all this is also enough to some extent in the life of each of us. Moreover, we sometimes become a source of suffering for other people. That's what you should think about this Sunday and this week.
The church offers us this gospel for this week so that we do not have empty triumphalism. So that there is no feeling that we will say the right words, and the world around us will immediately change. This is not true. First of all, we must understand the necessary words ourselves so that we can change our life, to love God and our neighbors in the way that St. Mary did.
Project “Great Lent with Hegumen Siluan (Tumanov)”
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