Thursday, May 21, 2015

"This is truly the King of glory. And why are Your garments scarlet?"

Icon depicting Christ's Ascension. It is interesting to note, and theologically correct, that the iconographer depicts the wounds from the Crucifixion in Christ's hands and feet. The Fathers hold that Christ had these wounds after His Resurrection, ascended with them into Heaven, and will have them for the rest of eternity as a sign of His love and what He suffered to save the world. As the Holy Angels saw Him ascending into Heaven, they marveled at this wonder. This fact was prophesied beforehand in the reading included below by the Prophet Isaiah (i.e. the Savior seen with the "clothing" of the flesh, which are "red", "as from a trodden winepress" from the Holy Passion), and mentioned in the hymn below as well. (source)
The Reading is from the Prophecy of Isaias.
[62,10-63,3; 7-9]
Thus says the Lord: Walk, go through my gates; prepare my way and make a way for my people, and cast the stones out of the way; raise up a standard for the nations. For see, the Lord has made it heard to the ends of the earth: Say to the daughter of Sion: See, your Saviour has come, and his reward is with him, and his work before his face. And he will call it a holy people, redeemed by the Lord; while you will be called a city sought after, and not forsaken. Who is this who comes from Edom, the scarlet of his garments from Bosor, thus beautiful in his apparel? He cries out with much strength. I reason of justice and judgement of salvation. Why are your garments red, and your clothing as from a trodden winepress? I am full of the trodden grape; I have trampled the winepress quite alone, and no man from the nations was with me. I have remembered the mercy of the Lord, I will recall the Lord’s virtues, the Lord’s praise for all the things with which He rewards us. The Lord is a good judge for the house of Israel; he deals with us according to his mercy and according to the multitude of his justice. And he said: Are you not my people? Children will surely not be rebellious; and he became for them salvation out of their every distress. It was not an emissary, not an Angel, but the Lord himself saved them because he loved them and spared them. He redeemed them and took them up and exalted them all the days of the age.
Christ's holy wounds from His passion (source)
As you were taken up from the mount of Olives, the powers seeing you cried one to the other: Who is this? And they were told: This is the Mighty One, the Powerful, this is the Powerful in war, this is truly the King of glory. And why are your garments scarlet? He has come from Bosor, that is, from the flesh. But as God seated at the right hand of the Majesty you have sent us the Holy Spirit, to guide and save our souls.
-Idiomelon of the Aposticha for the Feast of the Ascension, in the Second Tone.
Icon depicting the Ascension of Christ, and the Etimasia (Preparation) of the Throne, and the Holy Trinity. Also included are icons of Sts. John the Forerunner, James the Apostle, Nicholas the Wonderworker, Anthony the Great, Onouphrios the Great, Sebastian the Martyr, Catherine and Paraskevi the Great Martyrs, and Constantine and Helen (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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