The Passions of our Lord – Holy Monday
Holy Monday marks the beginning of the Passions of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through several parables, which can be found in the Holy Gospel, our Savior is inspiring us for repentance and preparing us to accept His Passions in the most decent way, Passions which through the Golgotha lead us to the joy of Resurrection. Thus, remembering the withered fig tree, that symbolizes the soul empty of spiritual achievements, we admonish ourselves bearing in mind the end of those who haven’t offered a worthy yield of good deeds. At the same time we remind ourselves about the holy life of the righteous Joseph, which is the Old Testament image of the new Adam – Christ. Then, with the story about the wise and the foolish maids, our Lord reminds us that the virginity without virtue doesn’t lead towards salvation and resembles a lantern that has extinguished because of lack of oil in it. In this way, the Merciful God is teaching us to pay more attention to grace and mercy, always to be ready to meet the true Bridegroom with good deeds. Finally, on Holy Wednesday, we celebrate the memory of the lewd woman and her honest, deep repentance, as opposed to the shrewd and cunning betrayal of Christ’s disciple Judas.
Remembering all of this, the monks of the Bigorski monastery, with greatest respect and piety, carry on their hands the icon of the Bridegroom of the Church, dressed in a torn red garment, with a crown of thorns on His head, carrying a reed in His hand. They prostrate before the icon with pain and love, while in the silence of the church, echoed the following verses of repentance:
I see Thy wedding room all adorned, my Savior,
But I have no garment to enter inside.
Enlighten the garment of my soul
Our Light-giver, and save me.