Sunday of The Glorious Resurrection

Christ the Gardener

Christ is risen, He is truly risen and we are all witnesses to that!

“On Friday he was crowned with thorns, and today he has adorned his Church with a crown of splendour!” (Prayer of Forgiveness) Jesus has conquered death through His resurrection, and given eternal life to His people.

On this day the gospel tells us that women came to bring spices to Jesus’ tomb and on the way they wonder who will be able to move the big stone away for them. When they arrive the stone has been rolled away. Jesus was raised, fulfilling the prophecy. (Psalm 22)

The Syriac fathers wrote about the encounter of one of the women with Jesus as she mistakes him for the gardener (John:20).

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

In the Syriac dialogue poem below one of the women is identified as Mary the mother of Jesus looking for her Son. The Syriac fathers saw Mary as the new Eve and she now represents the Church. In the poem she is seeking Jesus so that he may give her life.

“O Gardener please do not refuse me, do not drive me from your garden. It is a single fruit of mine apart from it there is nothing else that I seek.” Mary has come in search of her son, he is the fruit that gives life. (The Risen Christ and Mary, Treasure House of Mysteries Translated by Sebastian Brock)

Mary is begging to stay in the garden, which represents Eden and which Christ has now restored. Jesus is the new gardener, replacing Adam and he has restored salvation through his death and resurrection. In this dialogue poem, Mary speaks of a fruit that she is searching for, however unlike Eve in the garden, this fruit (Jesus) will give her life. Jesus is our new fruit, we search for him to give us new and eternal life.

We thank Jesus, for his gift of life, for freeing us from our sins and allowing us once again to enter the Garden of Eden, the Garden of Life. Today we remember we are a people of life: Where there was once death, there is now life. Let us all go forth and spread that joyful news to the world.

Christ is risen, He is truly risen and we are all witnesses to that!

Dialogue Poem

The Risen Christ and Mary (John 20) 

(from the Treasure House of Mysteries Translated by Sebastian Brock)

  1. On Sunday, in the morning early

along came Mary to the tomb. (John 20:1)

  1. MARY: Who will show me, she was saying,

my Son and my Lord for whom I am seeking?

  1. As the Gardener did our Lord appear

to her, answering and speaking to her thus:

  1. GARDENER: Disclose to me, o lady, what it is

you are seeking today in this garden. (Jn 20:15)

  1. MARY: O Gardener, please do not refuse me,

do not drive me from your garden.

  1. It is a single fruit that is mine;

apart from it there is nothing else that I seek.

  1. GARDENER: At this season you should realize

that no fruits are to be found in any garden;

  1. so how is it that you are telling me

that you are looking for fruit today?

  1. MARY: You should know, O Gardener,

that the fruit for which I am searching

  1. will give me life such is my hope

if I should but happen to see it.

  1. GARDENER: What is this fruit, young lady,

about which you speak such amazing words?

  1. MARY: I know very well and am quite certain

that the sight of it is too exalted for the eye.

  1. GARDENER: How you weary me with your talk,

how you vex me with what you say.

  1. MARY: Where have you removed him? Disclose this to me,

for I am going after him, seeking him.

  1. GARDENER: Why, lady, do you seek

the living in Sheol, the devourer? (Lk. 24:5)

  1. He concerning whom you are asking

left the tomb this very night,

  1. while the guards were wielding swords,

resembling raving dogs.

  1. MARY: Concerning his resurrection disclose and explain to me

so that I may be believing in him.

  1. For he flew down from highest heaven

and dwelt in a virgin womb.

  1. GARDENER: Incline your ear, O lady, and listen,

so that I may be the one to show you concerning him.

  1. His resurrection gives witness to her who bore him,

his mother gives witness to his resurrection;

  1. Height and depth are my witnesses

that, transcending nature, he was both born and now has risen.

  1. She heard his voice and recognized him,

for he repeated the words ‘Mary, Mary’. (Jn 20:16)

  1. MARY: Come to me, my Lord and my Master,

for now I forget my anguish.

  1. Come in your compassion, O Son of Mary,

just as you came to Mary;

  1. and with you, at your resurrection, let your light shine forth

on me and on him who composed this.

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