Sunday Encyclical of the Metropolis of Gortynos and Megalopoleos
Sunday, 29 March 2015
Consciously Participating in the Passion of Christ
1. This Sunday, my Christian brethren, is the Fifth Sunday of the Fast. When this week ends, Great Lent ends, as it says in the relevant hymn chanted on Friday evening: "Having completed the forty days that profit our soul." Next Sunday, which is Palm Sunday, we will enter Holy Week.
In today's Gospel reading the Lord spoke to us of His death, which He likens to a cup and to baptism. And what Christ said in today's Gospel reading to his two disciples, James and John ("can you drink the cup that I will drink and be baptized with the baptism that I will be baptized with"), He says to each of us. Our Lord Jesus Christ does not want us to merely observe His Passion, but He wants us to participate in them: to drink from the bitter cup of His death by crucifixion and to be baptized with the baptism of His blood and of His martyrdom. I pray, my Christian brethren, that this year you will consciously participate in this. For this reason, in my sermon today, I want to say two or three things about such a participation.