HOLY TUESDAY: CHRIST COMES UNEXPECTEDLY

April 21, 2022   •   blog post by Dr. Roman Soloviy blog

On Holy Tuesday, the church commemorates Christ’s confrontation with the Pharisees, temple elders, and Herodians, who tried to insidiously accuse Christ of teaching against the Law of Moses. Christ rejected all reproaches. He exposed the hypocrisy of Israel’s religious and political leaders, as well as their spiritual blindness, which was the reason for God’s impending judgment.

On this day we also mention the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25: 1-13). I subscribe to the classic interpretation of this parable as a figurative call to Jesus’ disciples to be ready to meet Him, not to allow false teachers or indifference to lull their spiritual vigilance. At the same time, however, I recognize how Jesus’ words illustrate the defining structure of the experience of human existence. To be human is to live in anticipation of a future that cannot be foreseen or predicted. This is what Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida call the messianicity of human experience - there is always someone else that will come into our lives.

In the arrivant Other, Christ comes to us. By showing hospitality to those who come, we show it to Christ. Does Christ come in every Other? No, He comes only in those troubled, in the needy, in the sick, in the prisoner, in the thirsty, in the stranger. No, He does not come in a murderer or a rapist. And here I agree with Richard Kearney, who emphasizes the need for recognizing distinction as the necessity lest we confuse the messiah with the monster, the visitor with the villain, the suffering with the sadist. The ethical hermeneutics of the Other, however, paradoxically (aporetically) does not eliminate the need for openness, willingness, and desire to accept the Other.

He still comes to us today. In the exhausted refugees with scant belongings, who are making their way to the assistance center for displaced persons. In the residents of recently liberated villages and towns, who are in need of medicine, food, and water. In the wounded soldiers, in all those who have suffered various forms of violence… He still comes. Every now and then there is a cry: “Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” And in our hearts, it should reverberate as “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

Thank you for your prayers!

Lviv, Ukraine
55th day of the war

Dr. Roman Soloviy
Ukraine