We should look upon all the faithful as one person and consider that Christ is in each one of them
By St Symeon the New Theologion
A text that Elder Porphyrios loved.
Icon of Elder Porphyrios http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/porphyrios-elder-02.jpg, originally from http://cyberdesert.wordpress.com/2008/11/28/elder-porphyrios/
Elder Porphyrios persistently taught that our love for our fellow man should be such that we look upon them as we look upon ourselves. At one time he had asked one of his spiritual children to photocopy the following article of St. Symeon, the New Theologian, which was handed out to his visitors. …
An excellent homily by Fr David Moser on the parable of the harvest of the Rich man and the remembrance of death. Let us compare oursleves to the rich man and see if we also live as if we had plenty “more time”.
From the moment of our birth, we begin a journey through this life which inevitably leads to our death.
There is no escaping that fact that it is appointed to all men once to die. It is also true that no man truly knows the day and hour of his own death for it can come at any moment. Oh yes, we all believe that we will live to see tomorrow, or next year, or even the next 50 years, but it is not certain. Our lives will end, but we do not know when or where this will occur.
Most people respond to this uncertainty with simple denial – it just won’t happen to me. Most people never think of their own death, and in fact, it is a breach of polite manners to even bring up the subject of death. Death, especially our own death, is something that we prefer to tuck away out of sight in a place where we won’t have to think about it.
The rich man of the parable was just this sort of person….
In this “second sermon” on a Sunday (a short talk after liturgy), the important selection from the first chapter of Colossions is discussed, with an emphasis on the context of the selection and the important Christological dogma expressed, which was later faithfully reproduced in the Symbol of Faith. It is important to read this passage correctly, as some heretics, such as the Arians (Jehovah Witnesses) do not understand the phrase . Also, the importance of reading the scriptures is mentioned.
The Parable of the Harvest of a rich man should be read in context, as it is in the middele of important teaching about how we shuold regard wealth and the things we should value. The context of the parable is discussed, and then follows an exposotion of the symbolism and moral teacing of the parable. This year (2010), We read this the 28th Sunday after Pentecost, on the 28th Sunday of Luke, since we follow the Julian Calendar and the Lukan jump.
The Entry of the Theotokos is one of the “Great Forgotten Feasts” in the church calendar, even though it is one of the “12 great feasts”. There are good reasons for this – this feast is especially about holiness, humility and submission, which our modern egalitarian world does not understand. The Theotokos is holy because she chose to be holy, of her own free will. We do not denigrate her by thinking that God in any way made her holy by making her different in some way from the rest of humanity. The Gospel reading for this feast (and all feasts of the Theotokos) is explained in detail. It is a peculiar reading, because the Mary in the reading is not the Theotokos, and it is also a concatenation of two sections of Scripture that are not related in time to each other, but it describes fully the virtue of the Theotokos, which we must emulate. Let us be in awe of the holiness of the Theotokos and all the Saints, and see our destiny in them. Let us explore holiness in this arrogant and egalitarian age.
The Entrance of the Theotokos is celebrated tommorow (9Nov 21/Dec 4). Every year, it is very beneficial to read St Gregory Palamas’ discourse on the feast, which is one of the most masterful Christological expositions ever written. Everything in this sermon is a gem, woth reading and re-reading and cogitating on. Footnotes added.
The best two days of the week are Thursday and Sunday. I believe I am most alive, and doing my most important work on this earth on those two days – when I celebrate the liturgy.
I am finding that I have much more anticipation of the liturgy then I had earlier in my ministry. I am not sure why that it, but I think several things have contributed….
Orthodox and Heterodoxy during the Season of Advent
The Holy Spirit outside the church
Why baptism? Why the Church? Why “Right Worship”?
The Orthodox are the priests and monastics of the people of God
I have been thinking a lot about the relationship between the Orthodox and their non-Orthodox brothers and sisters in Christ…