Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory to Him forever!
Saints of the Day
April 8 / 21. Holy Apostles of the Seventy: Herodion, Agabus, Asyncritus, Rufus, Phlegon, Hermes, and those with them. St. Celestine, pope of Rome. Martyr Pausilippus of Heraclea in Thrace. St. Niphont, Bishop of Novgorod. St. Rufus the Obedient of the Kiev Caves. New-Martyr John Naukliros (the Skipper) in Thessaly. Iberian Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. Repose of Righteous Helen Voronova, disciple of Elder Barsanuphius of Optina (1916).
Photo of the Day
Hammie, and Brother Christos.
Quote of the Day
Political Ideologies, and the Church
I was asked, just recently, which political party I thought was the best fit for an Orthodox Christian. My response was that this is an issue that, as a servant of Christ’s Church, I did not think I should answer. Within the Orthodox Church, internationally, we Orthodox are politically aligned across the map. Yet, as Orthodox Christians, it is important that we remember our true allegiance should be to the Church herself, and to Christ, her Founder and Head. Political ideologues, political parties, and earthly rulers, are a part of this world. In Christ, our true national identity should be Orthodoxy. The scriptures tell us that in Christ, we are “neither male, nor female, Greek nor Jew.” We could easily add, “neither American, nor Russian, nor Norwegian.” Our true identity is with Christ. For me, as an Orthodox priest, to push my own political opinions, could potentially undermined the teaching authority of the Church, regarding that which is eternal, and salvific.
Many years ago, a Greek politician ran for the presidency of our great nation. Although this man was a baptized Orthodox Christian, he did not, in fact, hold to basic teachings of our Church, such as the Sanctity of the Unborn, and the Church’s teaching regarding abortion. Additionally, his wife was not a Christian. Thus, he was not an Orthodox Christian in good standing with the Church, yet many Greek clergy (and bishops) rallied around him, simply because he was a Greek.
It is important that the Church stand in witness to the moral and spiritual truths that are of eternal importance, and not to those things which is transitory. History is rife with stories of the Church being discredited, in the minds of the common people, because she failed to stand apart from the political powers of the day. THE most important role of a priest, or bishop for that matter, is the proclamation of Christ’s Gospel, and the eternal Truth that we must love one another. All else is of this world.
Scripture Readings for the Day
18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
24 Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.”
25 So when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.