Electronic Prayer Book

The Spiritual Meaning of the Days of Lent

4.5 Passion Sunday

The ancient world, attempting to stone our Lord, accused Him of having a devil. The modern world, frequently persecuting Christians, accuses them of devilish practices. First century doubters would not hear Christ because they were not of God. Twentieth century sceptics will not hear the Church because they despise God. As members of Christ and children of God we must expect the hatred and persecution visited upon our Lord. But whatever the attitude of the world toward us, whether good or bad, our Lord commands us to pray for ALL men, in imitation of His forgiving example.

In the Sacred Liturgy we relive each phase of the life of Christ, in order that He may live in us. With Him, during Lent, we discipline the body that with Him, at Easter, our souls may possess new life. On the Cross Christ endured untold suffering of soul because of the sinful distortion of our souls. We must share His suffering that we may participate in His triumph.

In Passiontide the Liturgy glorifies the Holy Cross and today we relive the mystery of Christ hiding Himself from sinful eyes. Because the Church honours holy mysteries by veiling them we veil the crucifix, honouring the mystery of Christ’s Passion and symbolising His withdrawal of Himself from sight. A few days hence the Liturgy will sing: Sweetest wood and sweetest iron, sweetest Weight is hung on you; but today it cries: “Give thanks to God, Who established salvation in the Cross, that Satan, who by a tree once overcame, may by this Tree be overcome.”