Resurrection of the Lord 2024

Dear Friends of Saint Dumitru Monastery,
 
Christ is Risen!
 
Resurrection. We have arrived at the day of Resurrection, “the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 117:24). This is the day in which, more than any other, we can taste of eternal life, of the Kingdom of God, even while still on earth. It is the gift which transcends nature and the world, which the Lord granted us through His Passion. But, even more importantly, the way in which He suffered opens unto us a yet unprecedented path toward nobility.
Elder Zacharias Zacharou highlights the ethos full of nobility of our Lord: in bearing such a tremendous burden and in drinking a cup full of the world’s bitterness and of hell’s venom, for He took upon Himself our transgressions and was chastised and crushed for our salvation (cf. Isaiah 53:5-11), He “was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth, as a sheep before its shearers is silent” (Isaiah 53:7). By suffering total abandonment on the Cross (“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”), without any feeling of the presence, existence, or consolation of God, He nonetheless cries out with a loud voice: “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46).
This is the great lesson of Holy Week: whenever we have tribulations, or feel abandoned, or are surrounded by the darkness of this world, then full of spiritual nobility, we ought to have endless trust and faith in God. This is the “faith contrary to all hope” of Abraham (Romans 4:18), the “victory that has overcome the world” (1 John 5:4), the bridge over the chasm of hell and over death.
This spiritual nobility, this faith and trust that overcomes death, is exemplified both by the Shunammite woman (4 Kingdoms 4:8-37) and by the three youths in Babylon (Daniel 3:1-20), whose stories are read on Holy Saturday. The first, when her only son, whom she had received as a gift from God, dies, she lays him on his bed and goes to the “man of God”, the prophet Elisha, and, with her faith, “forces” him to resurrect her son (“As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you!”). The three youths, as the furnace was being prepared so that it would burn them, declare with dignity before the idolatrous tyrant: “If it be so, our God Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up!”. Then, the three lift up a beautiful prayer to God which is full of nobility (Song of the Three Youths).
If we manage to learn this lesson, we will be able to live the joy of the Resurrection throughout the entire year, transforming any misfortune or trial into a Resurrection.
 
Feast Day. We will use this opportunity to announce that again this year, with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae, the father abbot of Holy Putna Monastery, Archimandrite Melchisedec Velnic, will be in our midst for our summer feast day, the Ascension of the Lord, which we will celebrate on Saturday, June 15. We look forward to partaking together of the joy of the feast and seeing each other again.
 
Gratitude. On this joyful feast of feasts, our thoughts turn with gratitude to the many, many people who, from near or from afar, have been and continue to be beside us with warm and kind hearts, with advice, with prayers, with gifts, with encouragement, with benevolent service. We entreat our merciful Lord that He may reward you for your love and sacrifices!
 
In Christ, our Lord and Savior,
 
Abbot of Saint Dumitru Monastery
Protosyngellos Ieremia with the brotherhood
 

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