The Mystery of the Church

And the corporate nature of salvation

There is a certain emptiness in trying to live the Christian life outside the life of the Church. This is because it is impossible to truly live as a Christian without the Church. The reading of the scriptures, and our commitment to prayer, are important foundations in the life of a Christian, but they are incomplete without the mystical and sacramental life that is found within the Church.

If we hope to grow spiritually, we will take advantage of the Mysteries that are found only within the Church. Without the Mystery of Penance, and the absolution of the Church, we have no hope of transformation and holiness, for without the corporate life of the Church, our sins keep us captive. Without the Mystery of Christ’s Body and Blood, received during the celebration of the Church’s Divine Liturgy, the healing of the soul remains undone, and salvation is next to impossible.

The center of the Church’s Eucharistic liturgy is to be found in the descent, the appearance, the divine presence of the resurrected Christ, and is central to every moment of the liturgy. As believers, the partaking of Communion is actually that moment when we are encountering the living person of the Lord who enters the congregation as “King of the universe borne invisibly over their spears by the angelic hosts.” This act is so central to the life of a Christian, as to make it the necessary component to being a Christian.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: The haze from the forest fires of British Columbia.

Monday August 7, 2017 / July 25, 2017
10th Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.

The Dormition of the Righteous Anna, mother of the Most Holy Theotokos.
Holy Women Olympias (Olympiada) the Deaconess of Constantinople (409), and the Virgin Eupraxia of Tabenna (413).
Venerable Macarius, abbot of Zheltovod and Unzha (1444).
New Hieromartyr Alexander priest (1927).
St. Gregory (Kallidis), metropolitan of Thessalonica and Heraclea (1925).
New Hieromartyrs Vukosav Milanovic and Rodoljub Samardzic of Kulen Bakufa, Serbia (1941-1945).
New Hieromartyr Theodore Tonkovid, priest of Lovets (Pskov) (1942).
St. Iraida confessor (1967).
Commemoration of the Holy 165 Fathers of the Fifth Ecumenical Council (553).
Martyrs Sanctus, Maturus, Attalus, Blandina, Vivlia, Vetius, Epagathus, Ponticus, Alexander and others at Lyons (177) (Gaul).
Venerable Christopher, abbot of Solvychegodsk (Vologda) (1572).
New Hieromartyrs Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich, Nicholas (Johnson) and Peter (Remes).

The Scripture Readings

1 Corinthians 15:12-19

The Risen Christ, Our Hope

12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

Matthew 21:18-22

The Fig Tree Withered

18 Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.

The Lesson of the Withered Fig Tree

20 And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?”

21 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

Abbot Tryphon

About Abbot Tryphon

The Rt. Rev. Father Tryphon is abbot of the All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. The Monastery is under the omophore of The Rt. Rev. Bishop Theodosy of Seattle, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Situated in the heart of a beautiful forest, surrounded by the Salish Sea, the monastery is reached by ferry from either Seattle, or Tacoma, Washington.

2 comments:

  1. If – or when you end upp in wheelchair, and the church has high steps and no way for wheelchairs – you have no choice. So even if you must be without the Lord’s Holiness falling down from the sky over us during the liturgy – you have to accept it – – Mary of Egypt she was without it in the desert for years.

  2. More and more, since I’ve begun approaching Orthodoxy through the Church, I see the stratagems pursued by friends who want to acknowledge God–as any sane person will–without getting their vanity mussed up by involvement with others or by attempts to be sincere before that God. They do not pray for their ill loved ones, but “keep them in their positive thoughts”. They sense a reason to their lives, but ascribe all the arrangements to “the Universe”, which of course leaves them no higher standard to which they might aspire. Vanity seems to make all the difference between “affirmations” and prayers.

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