Holy Transfiguration of Christ, August 6, 2023 II Peter 1:10-19; Matthew 17:1-9 In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Today we behold the restoration of Eden. Today we see the door of Paradise standing open, and we gaze within, seeing there the Kingdom of God. Today we behold the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ.…
If we sit depressed and are anxious over all the things that depress us, that anger us, that cause us to despair, then we become more like those thoughts. But if we orient our spiritual sight toward what is holy and good, then the evil thoughts being suggested by the demons will have no place in us to take root and grow.
Justice is indeed coming, the very justice of God. This justice will wipe away every shred of demonic rule and influence from creation and set everything right. The cries for justice of those who have been crushed beneath the heels of the powerful and the violent have been heard by God, and they will be vindicated.
The Christian life is not easy, but it actually is simple. When we clearly understand what sin and holiness are, then our choice to turn away from sin and be holy becomes clear, too.
Ten years ago, I was present at a sermon on the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy given by the late Fr. Thomas Hopko, three years before he died. The title he gave the sermon was “What Triumph of Orthodoxy?” And he said that there never really was such a thing.
Why not just ask to enter into the Great Feast of Pascha, into the Kingdom of God, without having to go through this purification? Why won’t God just open the door and say, “Come on in” to everyone?
Real love for God is when we can begin to pray without expectations, without conditions that we lay down for God, willing to accept whatever God is going to give us. A true child of God will fall down at the Master’s feet and say, “Lord, help me.” It doesn’t matter what then happens.
We don’t get caught up in the endless controversies and pursuits of this world. Let such dead ways of living bury themselves, because death is their aim. Here we have no lasting city. We seek the City which is to come.