In the Church’s annual liturgical cycle, Pentecost is “the last and great day.” It is the celebration by the Church of the coming of the Holy Spirit as the end – the achievement and fulfilment – of the entire history of salvation. For the same reason, however, it is also the celebration of the beginning: it is the “birthday” of the Church as the presence among us of the Holy Spirit, of the new life in Christ, of grace, knowledge, adoption to God and holiness. Continue reading
Monthly Archives: June 2021
On this day we recall that just 50 days after the Glorious Resurrection, the Holy Spirit came upon the Holy Apostles and all those gathered with them in a new and different way. For the first time, the Holy Spirit actually took up residence within the human soul. Continue reading
Just as we love and respect our living brethren, so do we love and respect those of our brethren who have departed this life. We express our love for our departed friends and relatives through prayer. Just as we pray for the living that the Grace of God may be upon them, so do we pray for the dead that they may become worthy of the vision of God. At death no man leaves the world to appear before God free of sin, perfect, holy, so that he does not need the mercy and Grace of God. The Holy Church is composed not only of the living, earthly members but also of the faithful departed. All of us, living and dead, are members of one Church and are bound together by one Faith, by common love, and are unworthy sons of the merciful God. It is therefore our duty to ask God, each of us separately, and all together are one Church, to be merciful toward the sinful soul of our departed brother. Continue reading
Ascending in Holiness Through the Body of Christ: Homily for the Sunday of the After-Feast of the Ascension and the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council
We are now in the season of the Ascension in the Orthodox Church, when we celebrate our Lord’s ascent into heaven forty days after His resurrection. It is easy for us to pass over this feast without paying much attention because it comes between Pascha and Pentecost. The danger of doing so, however, is that if we do not attend to the importance of uniting ourselves to Christ as He ascends into heavenly glory, we will have a very impoverished understanding of how to share in the eternal life of our Saviour even as we remain in the world as we know it. Continue reading
Jesus did not live with his disciples after his resurrection as he had before his death. Filled with the glory of his divinity, he appeared at different times and places to his people, assuring them that it was he, truly alive in his risen and glorified body.
To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). Continue reading
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
On this Sunday, that before the Feast of the Ascension of Christ, the Church recalls to our attention the Gospel of the man born blind. There are two points here that I would particularly like to remark on. Continue reading