On Entering the Scriptural Narrative and Being Present at the Mystical Supper

Vat.gr.1523(Palaiologina lectionary)

Excerpted from the treatise On Those Who Inquire after the Nature of the Son* 

Behold, we have a pathway through the divine Scriptures. Come, let us walk with faith therein. For without faith no one can know all that is written concerning our Lord, the Savior of the world. But if you are willing to hear me, believe without examination.

You have heard, beloved, that God the Father sent his Only-begotten Son for your salvation. For the holy God is not a liar. Again, you have heard that the Only-begotten was incarnate in the womb of the holy Virgin and was conceived of her from the Holy Spirit. Be certain of this in your heart, even as you have heard it day after day in the holy Gospels, seeing, in purity, with the eyes of faith, the very things themselves that occurred. And behold the Lord, with all faith, in the eyes of your heart, in that place and time. Move about there, with longing of heart, from place to place. Let your soul rejoice, seeing the Lord curing every disease by his grace and expelling demons by his word and power.

Enter with him into the marriage at Cana and drink of the wine of his blessing. Rather, contemplate the majesty of Lord. Incline not your eye from the contemplation of the sweetness of his holy face. Go before him into the desert place and behold the wonder of the loaves, multiplied by the holy hands of his Lordship.

Move about with Christ, my brother, with longing, wherever he goes. If you follow him and walk with him, no evil shall touch you. Nor will the Evil One draw near to you.

Follow him to that Supper where he gave he holy Mysteries to his disciples. Observe with understanding how he washes even the feet of his disciples. Tell yourself, with amazement and fear (reflecting on it with the eyes of pure faith), that God, the Fashioner, who fashioned main from the clay by his grace, himself washes the feet of that which he fashioned.

Reflecting on these things, my brother, glorify and worship his power. Attend to how he blesses the bread and breaks it as a type of his own immaculate body, and, again, how he blesses the chalice as a type of his blood and gives it to his disciples. And become a communicant with them of his Mysteries.

*Περὶ τοὺς καταζητοῦντας τοῦ Υἱοῦ τὴν φύσιν, ed. K.G. Phrantzoles, Ὁσίου Ἐφραίμ τοῦ Σύρου ἔργα 6 (Thessaloniki: Perivoli tis Panagias, 1995), 205-206.

Image: Constantinopolitan Lectionary (13th-14th c.), Vatican Library

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