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The Cherub and the Penitent Thief (Lk 23:33-34) (excerpt) by Jacob of Sarug (ca. A.D. 451 – 521)


Painting from https://catholicismpure.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/the-repentant-thief/

The thief crucified on the right of Jesus said to him, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Lk 23:33-43) Jesus replied to him:
Amen, Amen, I say to you, be assured that today you will rejoice with me in [my] Kingdom. ܐܰܡܺܝܢ ܐܰܡܺܝܢ ܐܳܡܰܪ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܠܳܟ ܐܰܫܰܪ ܓܰܒܪܳܐ ܃ ܕܝܰܘܡܳܢܳܐ ܠܰܡ ܥܰܡܝ ܚܳܕܶܐ ܐܰܢ̱ܬ ܒܶܝܬ ܡܰܠܟܘܽܬܳܐ ܀
Since your tongue sang a hymn of praise among the faithless, you shall take delight in the banquet of life with Abraham.  ܕܒܶܝܬ ܛܳܠ̈ـܘܽܡܶܐ ܩܳܠ ܬܰܘܕܺܝܬܳܐ ܙܡܰܪ ܠܶܫܳܢܳܟ ܃ ܒܦܳܬܘܽܪ ܚܰܝ̈ܶܐ ܡܶܬܒܰܣܰܡ ܐܰܢ̱ܬ ܥܰܡ ܐܰܒܪܳܗܳܡ ܀
Since your lamp glared out of the thick darkness, you shall shine brightly in the bridal chamber of life with the heavenly beings. ܕܰܒܥܰܪ̈ܦܶܠܳܐ ܚܶܫ̈ܘܽܟܳܬܳܐ ܕܠܰܩ ܠܰܡܦܺܝܕܳܟ ܃ ܒܰܓܢܘܽܢ ܚܰܝ̈ܶܐ ܒܢܘܽܗܪܳܐ ܬܰܦܪܶܓ ܥܰܡ ܥܶܠܳܝ̈ܶܐ ܀
Since your ears have heard the troubling voices of scoffers, I shall comfort you with the shout of joy of the children of light (the angels). ܕܰܫܡܰܥ ܐܶܕܢ̈ܰܝܟ ܩ̈ܳـܠܶܐ ܫܓܺܝ̈ܫܶܐ ܕܰܡ̈ܒܰܙܚܳܢܶܐ ܃ ܒܗܰܘ ܝܘܽܒܳܒܳܐ ܕܰܒ̈ܢܰܝ ܢܘܽܗܪܳܐ ܡܒܰܝܰܐ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܠܳܟ ܀
Since you rejected the company of Caiaphas’ people, the defiled priests, I shall put on you the stole of light in the exalted wedding chamber. ܕܰܐܣܠܺܝܬ ܓܘܽܕܳܐ ܕܒܶܝܬ ܩܰܝܳܦܳܐ ܟܳܗ̈ܢܶܐ ܛܰܡ̈ܶܐܐ ܃ ܐܶܣܛܰܠ ܢܘܽܗܪܳܐ ܒܰܓܢܘܽܢ ܪܰܘܡܳܐ ܡܰܠܒܶܫ ܐ̱ܢܳܐ ܠܳܟ ܀
Take the key of light, reach the Garden of delights, and prepare the way for the King of light, whom the Nation rejected. ܩܠܺܝܕܳܐ ܕܢܘܽܗܪܳܐ ܣܰܒ ܠܳܟ ܘܰܡܛܺܝ ܠـܓܰܢܰܬ ܛܘܽܒ̈ܶܐ ܃ ܘܰܐܬܩܶܢ ܐܘܽܪܚܳܐ ܠܡܰܠܟܳܐ ܕܢܘܽܗܪܳܐ ܕܰܐܣܠܺܝ ܥܰܡܳܐ ܀
Ride on fire, travel on the blazing road, step on the abyss filled with fire, and do not be terrified. ܪܟܰܕ ܥܰܠ ܢܘܽܪܳܐ ܘܰܪܕܺܝ ܒܐܘܽܪܚܳܐ ܕܫܰܠܗܶܒܺܝܬܳܐ ܃ ܕܘܽܫ ܥܰܠ ܦܰܚܬܳܐ ܕܡܰܠܝܳܐ ܢܘܽܪܳܐ ܘܠܳܐ ܬܶܣܬܰܪܰܕ ܀
Proceed without delay, reach the orders of the heavenly beings, make level the paths, and greet the angels with the peace that came to pass. ܦܣܰܥ ܩܰܠܺܝܠܳܐ ܡܛܺܝ ܠܬܶܓܡ̈ܰܝܽܗܘܢ ܕܰܫ̈ܡܰܝܳܢܶܐ ܃ ܘܫܰܘܳܐ ܫܒܺܝ̈ܠܶܐ ܘܚܰܕܳܐ ܠܥܺܝܪ̈ܶܐ ܒܫܰܝܢܳܐ ܕܰܗܘܳܐ ܀
Pour into Eden the peace of your beautiful words, and say to those who perished that it (Eden) has been returned to the heir, Adam. ܙܠܘܽܥ ܒܳܗ݀ ܒܰܥܕܶܢ ܫܰܝܢܳܐ ܒܡ̈ܶܠܰܝܟ ܫܰܦܺܝܪ̈ܳܬܳܐ ܃ ܐ̱ܡܰܪ ܠܰܐܒܺܝ̈ـܕܶܐ ܕܶܐܬܦܰܢܺܝ ܠܶܗ ܝܳܪܬܳܐ ܐܳܕܳܡ ܀
If the fiery ranks come upon you, do not be terrified, for they will rejoice in your imperial rescript, and receive you on their wings. ܘܶܐܢ ܦܳܓܥܺܝܢ ܒܳܟ ܣܶܕܪ̈ܰܝ ܢܘܽܪܳܐ ܠܳܐ ܬܶܣܬܰܪܰܕ ܃ ܒܣܰܩܪܳܟ ܚܳܕܶܝܢ ܘܰܡܩܰܒܠܺܝܢ ܠܳܟ ܥܰܠ ܓܶܦ̈ܰܝܗܘܽܢ ܀

The Church, Paradise on Earth, in Whose Midst is the Tree of Life. Let us Pluck its Fruit and Live!


An Extract from Jacob of Sarug’s Hymn on the Priesthood and the Altar

[The Lord] established on earth the Holy Church instead of Paradise and appointed priests to His service without [animal] sacrifices. ܘܰܐܬܩܶܢ ܒܰܐܪܥܳܐ ܥܺܕܰܬ ܩܘܽܕܫܳܐ ܚܠܳܦ ܦܰܪܕܰܝܣܳܐ܃ ܘܰܕܠܳܐ ܕܶܒ̈ܚܶܐ ܐܰܩܺܝܡ ܟܳܗ̈ܢܶܐ ܥܰܠ ܬܶܫܡܶܫܬܶܗ܀
He revealed Himself to be the Tree of Life Who was hidden and let His fruits drop on those who are near and those who are far. ܘܰܓܠܳܐ ܢܰܦܫܶܗ ܐܺܝܠܳܢ ܚܰܝ̈ܶܐ ܗܰܘ ܕܰܟܣܳܐ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ܃ ܘܰܐܬܰܪ ܦܺܐܪ̈ܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܥܰܠ ܪ̈ܰܚܺܝܩܶܐ ܘܥܰܠ ܩܰܪ̈ܺܝܒܶܐ܀
Behold! The priests surround Him [the Tree of Life], pick fruits from Him, and give life to human beings from Him daily… ܘܗܳܐ ܟܪܺܝܟܺܝܢ ܠܶܗ ܟܳܗ̈ܢܶܐ ܘܩܳܛܦܺܝܢ ܦܺܐܪ̈ܶܐ ܡܶܢܶܗ܃ ܘܝܳܗܒܺܝܢ ܡܶܢܶܗ ܠܰܒ̈ܢܰܝܢܳܫܳܐ ܚܰܝ̈ܶܐ ܟܽܠܝܘܽܡ܀
Christ, the benevolent Heir, Who is altogether light, came and restored that which was corrupted from the beginning. ܘܶܐܬܳܐ ܡܫܺܝܚܳܐ ܝܳܪܬܳܐ ܛܳܒܳܐ ܕܟܽܠܶܗ ܢܘܽܗܪܰܐ ܗ̱ܘ܃ ܘܰܐܬܩܶܢ ܗܳܠܶܝܢ ܕܶܐܬܚܰܒܰܠ ܗ̱ܘܽ ܡܶܢ ܫܘܽܪܳܝܳܐ܀
He granted the priesthood to His Twelve with the laying of His hands and appointed priests to the service of the Tree of Life. ܘܝܰܗ̱ܒ ܟܳܗܢܘܽܬܳܐ ܠܰܬܪ̈ܶܥܣܰܪܬܶܗ ܒܰܣܝܳܡ ܐܺܝܕܶܗ܃ ܘܰܐܩܺܝܡ ܟܳܗ̈ܢܶܐ ܥܰܠ ܬܶܫܡܶܫܬܶܗ ܕܐܺܝܠܳܢ ܚܰܝ̈ܶܐ܀
In splendor, with the gentle waving of the hands, and in holiness, behold, they [the priests] surround the Tree of Life at the Holy Altar. ܘܰܒܙܰܗܝܘܽܬܳܐ ܘܰܒܪܘܽܚܳܦܳܐ ܘܩܰܕܺܝܫܘܽܬܳܐ܃ ܗܳܐ ܟܪܺܝܟܺܝܢ ܠܶܗ ܠܺܐܝܠܳܢ ܚܰܝ̈ܶܐ ܒܡܰܕܒܰܚ ܩܘܽܕܫܳܐ܀
Priests were appointed to the office of the spiritual Seraphim, to which it had been proper to appoint Adam… ܘܰܒܬܶܫܡܶܫܬܳܐ ܗܺܝ ܕܰܣܪ̈ܳܦܶܐ ܪ̈ܘܽܚܳܢܳܝܶܐ܃ ܩܳܝܡܺܝܢ ܟܳܗ̈ܢܶܐ ܕܒܳܗ݀ ܙܳܕܶܩ ܗ̱ܘܳܐ ܕܰܢܩܘܽܡ ܐܳܕܳܡ܀
They glorify Him in the Church, God’s Eden, and give the fruits of the Tree of Life to the entire world. ܘܰܡܫܰܒܚܺܝܢ ܠܶܗ ܒܥܺܕ̱ܬܳܐ ܕܺܐܝܬܶܝܗ݀ ܥܕܶܝܢ ܕܰܐܠܳܗܳܐ܃ ܘܝܳܗܒܺܝܢ ܦܺܐܪ̈ܰܘܗ̱ܝ ܕܺܐܝܠܳܢ ܚܰܝ̈ܶܐ ܠܥܳܠܡܳܐ ܟܽܠܶܗ܀
The priests stand at the blessed fountain of Eden and irrigate from it the entire creation that thirsts for Him. ܘܩܳܝܡܺܝܢ ܟܳܗ̈ܢܶܐ ܥܰܠ ܡܳܒܘܽܥܳܐ ܒܪܺܝܟܳܐ ܕܰܥܕܶܢ܃ ܘܡܰܫܩܶܝܢ ܡܶܢܶܗ ܠܟܽܠܳܗ݀ ܒܪܺܝܬܳܐ ܕܝܰܐܝܺܒܳܐ ܠܶܗ܀
They hold the keys which the Head of the disciples received and open the doors of life that the entire world might enter. ܩܠܺܝ̈ـܕܶܐ ܛܥܺܝܢܺܝܢ ܗܳܠܶܝܢ ܕܰܫܩܰܠ ܪܺܝܫ ܬܰܠܡܺܝ̈ܕܶܐ܃ ܘܦܳܬܚܺܝܢ ܬܰܪ̈ܥܶܐ ܕܚܰܝ̈ܶܐ ܕܢܶܥܘܽܠ ܥܳܠܡܳܐ ܟܽܠܶܗ܀
They take up common bread to the Altar while reciting [prayers] and bring down from it an Immolated Body that the Church might eat from it. ܠܰܚܡܳܐ ܫܚܺܝܡܳܐ ܡܰܣܩܺܝܢ ܣܳܕܪܺܝܢ ܥܰܠ ܦܳܬܘܽܪܳܐ܃ ܘܦܰܓܪܳܐ ܩܛܺܝܠܳܐ ܡܰܚܬܺܝܢ ܡܶܢܶܗ ܠܥܺܕ̱ܬܳܐ ܬܶܟܘܽܠ܀
They pour wine of vines in chalices in the Holy of Holies, and it becomes blood that the entire world might be pardoned with it. ܚܰܡܪܳܐ ܕܓܘܽܦ̈ܢܶܐ ܒܟܳܣ̈ܶܐ (ܕܡܝܢ) ܪܳܡܶܝܢ ܒܶܝܬ ܚܘܽܣܳܝܳܐ܃ ܘܰܕܡܳܐ ܗܳܘܶܐ ܕܢܶܬܚܰܣܶܐ ܒܶܗ ܥܳܠܡܳܐ ܟܘܽܠܶܗ܀

An Extract from Jacob of Sarug’s Commentary on the Parable of the Good Samaritan

Behold! Our Lord is the Tree of Life bearing fruit. Come, let us pluck from Him and eat from Him the choice harvest. ܗܳܐ ܐܺܝܠܳܢܳܐ ܕܚܰܝ̈ܶܐ ܡܳܪܰܢ ܘܰܛܥܺܝܢ ܦܺܐܪ̈ܶܐ܃ ܬܰܘ ܢܶܩܛܘܽܦ ܠܰܢ ܘܢܶܐܟܘܽܠ ܡܶܢܶܗ ܐܶܒܳܐ ܓܰܒܝܳܐ܀
We have sufficiently eaten from the tree of knowledge! The Tree of Life came to us that we might eat from it. ܟܰܕܘܽ ܐ̱ܟܰܠܢܰܢ ܡܶܢ ܐܺܝܠܳܢܳܐ ܗܰܘ ܕܺܝܕܰܥܬܳܐ܃ ܐܶܬܳܐ ܠܘܳܬܰܢ ܐܺܝܠܳܢ ܚܰܝ̈ܶܐ ܢܶܐܟܘܽܠ ܡܶܢܶܗ܀
Behold! The Church is the Divine Paradise, and the Holy Altar is that Tree full of Life. ܗܳܐ ܦܰܪܕܰܝܣܳܐ ܐܰܠܳܗܳܝܳܐ ܥܺܕ̱ܬܳܐ ܐܺܝܬܶܝܗ݀ ܃ ܘܗܰܘ ܐܺܝܠܳܢܳܐ ܕܰܡܠܶܐ ܚܰܝ̈ܶܐ ܡܰܕܒܰܚ ܩܘܽܕܫܳܐ܀