On Thursday evening, inside of the Holy Sepulcher and led by HB. Theophilos of Jerusalem and All Palestine, the chanting of the Passion. “You did not suffer until death in your combat against sin” – “when you will be returned, you will pastor my flock” Jesus of Nazareth’s account of the suffering and the passing away is highly exceptional in the way the words are put together. The Byzantine tradition composed it into contrasted readings from different Gospel to show the unity and singularity of the what happened in those days in Jerusalem. When reading the whole text as put together, whatsoever our feelings can be, do we believe or not or doubt that there even was a man such as Jesus of Nazareth, the readings oblige us to consider something that surpasses all human abilities to understand, conceive, comprehend, fathom what happened and still is actualized each year as a living and forward-leading memory of our attitude toward faith. Not only faith in Jesus as the Messiah, but just basic faith in the existence of a Creator, Janitor of all the words and its expansion that we cannot encompass in our minds, even through some generations. No one can escape the reality of suffering, hurts, wounds, scars, injures, let it be physical, handicaps, disabled, light-minded or even mindless, brainless, nude or emotional, psychological, intended wounds and scars, historical ones. We would call it “resilience” for those who can stand these kinds of suffering. How can we make it a positive sign for the confession of witnessing to the Living One and his Only-begotten Son.
The Byzantine rite often appears to be too “ritualistic” and if some inmates – ordained to serve – could repeat the tragedy of hapax (“one-shot”) situations that are called to bring hope, salvation, pardon, healing to all humankind.
In Jerusalem and in Israel, we witness right now that God, His Son and the Holy Spirit do not belong to any Body, any structure, whether “ecclesial or communautarian” or jurisdictional. It swings and shakes in depth the stiffening way we look at tradition. On the contrary, traditions oblige us to consider the past, continue the way and look ahead of what we think we are. This revolving move is a part of the fundamentals of what the Lord wants us to be taught with. We belong to Him, not the contrary and this allows us to move forward with some spirit of prophecy.
— saman med Nektarios Cottros.