During the Agape Vespers on Easter Sunday, also known as the Second Resurrection, Patriarch Daniel spoke about the characteristics of the Saviour’s risen body stressing that the marks of His Passion remained in his glorified body.
The Patriarch of Romania explained why the risen Lord passed through the locked doors to meet his disciples. ‘He is raised from the dead, but He does not return to ordinary earthly life, which is often limited by the determinisms of nature, by space and time that limits man, and by opaque matter, which opposes him when the doors are locked. The risen from the dead Jesus Christ has entered another life.’
The disciples were troubled about their future, their freedom and their situation, but Christ comes to them and greets them: “Peace be with you!” This shows us that “the peace of Christ is essential to the life of the Church,” Patriarch Daniel said April 19.
“The risen Savior is totally free,” he continued. “He is not a spirit, a shadow, a ghost that shows itself to the disciples. And, to assure them that He, the Risen One, is identical with the crucified One, He shows them His hands and His side.”
These marks are the flowers of His merciful love
His glorified body, which keeps the marks of the nails and the spear’s incision forever, reveals to us the mystery of suffering and the deep connection between the Cross and the Resurrection, explained the Patriarch.
‘He, Who healed the man born blind and a multitude of people, could have healed the marks of the nails,’ Patriarch Daniel noted.
“Why does He keep in His resurrected and glorified Body the marks of the wounds He had suffered? To show us that in Christ the mystery of the Cross is not separated from the mystery of the Resurrection, that the risen One is the crucified One, and the crucified and buried One became the risen One.”
Jesus’ bodily marks ‘are the flowers of His merciful love, which transformed from painful wounds into seals for eternity, seals of His love for the salvation of the world.’
Thus, the Saviour “by the signs of His affliction, does not deny, exclude, nor erase the experience of suffering. He only transfigures it. His risen and glorified body internalizes the Mystery of the Cross. And the Mystery of the Cross expresses the glory of Christ’s love, the glory of His merciful love through the Resurrection.”
The Mysteries of the Cross and the Resurrection are one in another
“This explanation of today’s Gospel, that He showed them the marks of the nails and spear’s incision in His side shows us the mystery of the connection between the Cross and the Resurrection. They are not next to each other. The Mystery of the Cross and the Mystery of the Resurrection are one in another,” the Patriarch explained.
“That is why, the Church has understood that Christ’s love, shown through the Cross, remains eternal and this humble, crucified love that is triumphant through the Resurrection, this love He gives us in the Holy Eucharist and through prayer,” added the Patriarch.
Regarding the meaning of suffering as an experience that leads to spiritual growth, Patriarch Daniel said: “Any suffering is temporary, as someone once said. After a while, it ends. But suffering never passes away. It becomes the spiritual background of the person who went through suffering and transfigured it. He accepted it, and God blessed it and turned it into spiritual maturity, in gratefulness to God and in an experience of spiritual growth.”
Finally, the Patriarch prayed that all ‘may feel that Christ the Lord comes to us with His merciful and humble love, even when the doors of our houses are locked.’
“Even when we are overwhelmed with fear, dread, uncertainty, insecurity, He comes to bring us His peace. To give us His Light – that is, the meaning of life, this is the Light of Christ -, to transform us into His apostles, His witnesses, His messengers, to speak to the world about Christ’s love,” the Patriarch of Romania said ending his speech.