April 11, 2020

Lazarus the Friend of God and the Good Samaritan as Types of Adam the First-Formed and the Human Race

By St. Makarios the Great

(Excerpt from Homily 30 of his Fifty Spiritual Homilies)

When Adam fell and was dead in the eyes of God, the Creator wept over him. The angels, all the powers, the heavens, the earth and all creatures bewailed his death and fall. For they saw him, who had been given to them as their king, now become a servant of an opposing and evil power. Therefore, darkness became the garment of his soul, a bitter and evil darkness, for he was made a subject of the prince of darkness. This was the person who was wounded by robbers and left half dead as he "was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho" (Lk. 10:30).

For Lazarus also, whom the Lord raised up, exuded so fetid an odor that no one could approach his tomb, as a symbol of Adam whose soul exuded such a great stench and was full of blackness and darkness. But you, when you hear about Adam and the wounded traveler and Lazarus, do not let your mind wander as it were into the mountains, but remain inside within your soul, because you also carry the same wounds, the same smell, the same darkness.

We are all his sons and we all inherit the same stench. Therefore, the passions that he suffered, all of us, who are of Adam's seed, suffer also. For such a suffering has hit us, as Isaiah says: "It is not a wound, nor a bruise, nor an inflamed sore. It is impossible to apply a soothing salve or oil or to make bandages" (Is 1:6). Thus we were wounded with an incurable wound. Only the Lord could heal it. For this He came in His own person because no one of the ancients nor the Law itself nor the prophets were able to heal it. He alone, when He came, healed that sore, the incurable sore of the soul.

Let us, therefore, receive God the Lord, the true Healer, Who alone can come to heal our souls, after He has borne so much on our behalf. For He is always knocking at the doors of our hearts in order that we may open up to Him and that He may enter in and take His rest in our souls, and that we may wash His feet and He may take up His abode with us. For this purpose He endured many sufferings, giving His body over to death and buying our ransom from slavery so that He, coming to our soul, might make His abode there.