Midlent - Pathinombu

March 30th is the 25th day of Lent which is Mid-Lent Wednesday (midpoint of lent) known as Paathi Nombu in malayalam. It is the day we erect the Golgotha in the middle of the church. There are several significances to the erection of Golgotha. This is one of the very few days during the great lent when the Holy Qurbana is celebrated on a weekday other than Sunday or Saturday.

Today's Bible Reading says: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3: 14-15. Jesus predicted his eventual crucifixion to his disciples in this verse.

Moses lifted up the bronze serpent in the middle of the desert (wilderness) around the middle of the Exodus, the journey of the Israelites from slavery to their promised land. He lifted up the serpent so that those who are bitten by the snake might look at it and have life. Similarly the cross (Jesus) is lifted up in the middle of the church so that we are reminded that those who are bitten by sin can look at Jesus and gain eternal life by the Him.

The Golgotha and erection of cross in the middle of the church also signifies that God came down from heaven and dwelt among us in this world. This is why the Golgotha is in the middle of the church with us, the common folks, and not in the Madbaha as we normally expect to find it. It will remain in the middle of the church till Good Friday (representing the Public Ministry of Jesus) when it will be taken to Calvary and then buried. On Easter, Jesus will rise from the dead and then the cross will be placed in the Madbaha for another 40 days till the Feast of Ascension. Between Easter and Ascension, Jesus Christ who only revealed himself to selected people (no public ministry as earlier), so the veiled cross will be seen only in the Madbaha during this time.