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Pascha Message from Abbot Damian

Christ is risen!

Indeed, he is risen!

Gathering together in the darkness In the middle of the night, we proclaim LIGHT! And while, a week ago, we witnessed a resurrection ; life, returning to a rotting corpse Lazarus, four days dead was brought back to life and left, stumbling about in his shroud wrappings, now,we dare with very limited capacity to proclaim another resurrection Christ had revealed to Martha (John 11:25) "I AM..." " I AM... RESURRECTION ".

On Good and Holy Friday, we witnessed that which we cannot explain with words. Somehow, creatures put to death their Creator. The Divine Word, I AM, MADE INCARNATE IN CHRIST, was left hanging on a tree DEAD. His bones needed not to be broken as with the two criminals on each side but His side was pierced with a lance. He was dead. But as He hung dying in the midst of excruciating suffering, we heard Him speak mysterious words "Father , FORGIVE FATHER. FORGIVE THEM. Father forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).

Forgiveness, emanating from the mouth of a crucified man, hanging on a tree, brings to our consciousness, the memory of a garden A garden planted by God (Genesis 2:8,9,16,and 17) “…God planted a garden” … and in the middle of the garden, God planted the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. At Calvary or Golgotha (the place of the skull), there is a fission in the rock that runs vertically down to a chapel known as the chapel of Adam(and Eve). Tradition holds that our first parents were buried here, and as the earth quaked at the moment that God died, the temple veil was torn in two and blood from the cross poured down upon the skulls of our first parents, and they were restored to the life given to them in the garden, as the first children of Light “ made in the image and likeness of God” who is Light ( John 8:12).

At the bottom of the icon of the crucifixion, we see in the cave of Golgotha an image of the skull, and the crossbones being drenched in blood so that the tree that becomes the instrument of death now becomes the instrument of LIFE. On Palm Sunday, when Jesus enters into Jerusalem riding on the foal of a donkey, the children climbed trees. Unconsciously , but spiritually astute, the children proclaim with tree branches the victory over the tree of death, Revealing the forgiveness of all sin, and proclaiming the tree of the cross as The Tree of Life. Let us lift up this tree,THE CROSS and proclaim with our whole being


The Chapel of the Tomb of Adam and Eve, Jerusalem.

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