The Armenian Church lays special emphasis on the season of Great Lent as a “school” for personal spirituality. The faithful are guided on a kind of “pilgrimage of the soul,” with each Sunday of Lent dedicated to a story from Scripture, based in a parable of Jesus, or in prophecies concerning him.
However, the first Sunday of the series—the Sunday of the Expulsion—seems at first glance to have no direct link to the life of Jesus.
Lent is the period of personal sacrifice when we are meant to remember (and re-enact) Christ’s sojourn in the wilderness, and the temptations he overcame there. The story of the Expulsion, on the other hand, concerns Adam and Eve’s exile from the Garden of Eden. On the surface, the stories have little to connect them.
But perhaps there is a deeper connection to consider. Identifying that connection is the subject of a short article published as a web exclusive of First Things magazine, by Christopher Zakian, the Diocese’s director of Communications.
By starting Lent with the Sunday of the Expulsion, the Armenian tradition helps us to appreciate the depth of our human intimacy with Jesus.
Click here to read the essay.