We must not let the Light of Christ be shrouded in darkness
We must try to share the joy and healing that is to be found within the walls of the Orthodox Church, and the depth of our encounter with Christ that brings about transformation, and the restoration of the human heart as God meant it to be. With God’s help, we must attempt, in every waking moment, to image the Light of Christ in every encounter we have.
With the changing moral fiber of present day America, what with state sanctioned abortion, same-sex marriage, and hedonistic lifestyles, together with the mass apostasy that is taking place from Christianity, more than ever, it must be the goal of every Christian to mirror the image of Christ to all those we encounter.
The importance of the Church as a hospital of the soul, wherein EVERYONE can receive healing, must be imaged by every serious Orthodox Christian. Mixing political rage, while displaying a religion devoid of love, demonstrates in a clear, if not unfortunate way, why so many of today’s youth have turned away from Christianity.
There is nothing salvific about a message of hate. Nothing in a radical religious philosophy offers hope for either the young woman who has aborted her child, the young man who is same-sex attracted, or the person who has given themselves over to a hedonistic lifestyle. What is there that can possibly draw anyone to Orthodoxy who sees nothing but judgment and condemnation from those who identify themselves as Orthodox Christians?
Only an encounter with the love of Christ, and the message of the Incarnate Son of God will change hearts, and transform the souls of those living outside the walls of the Church. The Christ Who healed the sick, forgave the sins of the woman at the well, and sat down with tax collectors and sinners, is nowhere to be found in the angry faces of self-righteous judges. A message of hatred and judgment, totally devoid of any sense of love and hope, does nothing but further estrange those who need the healing power of the Church.
We must never allow the Light of Christ to be shrouded in darkness by our lack of love and tolerance. If we do not see, as did the Apostle Paul, ourselves as the worst of sinners, but look with contempt and judgment upon others, we will have become the shroud that has darkened the Light of Christ.
With love in Christ,
Photo: Father Michael Tervo of Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in Bellingham, WA., brought his youth group for their annual pilgrimage to the monastery.
Tuesday November 14, 2017 / November 1, 2017
24th Week after Pentecost. Tone six.
Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian of Mesopotamia, and their mother St. Theodota (3rd c.).
New Hieromartyrs Alexander and Theodore priests (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Sergius archbishop of Eletsk, Alexander and Demetrius priests, Virgin-martyr Elizabeth (1937).
Martyr Peter (1941).
Hieromartyrs John the Bishop and James the Presbyter, of Persia (345).
Martyrs Cyrenia and Juliana in Cilicia (305).
Martyr Hermeningilda the Goth of Spain (586).
Martyrs Caesarius, Dacius, Sabbas, Sabinian, Agrippa, Adrian,and Thomas at Damascus (7th c.).
St. Cosmas of Verkhoturye (1704).
Martyrs James of Mt. Athos and his two disciples James and Dionysius (1520) (Greek).
Venerable David of Euboea (1589) (Greek).
Martyrs Cyprian and Juliana (Greek).
St. Cadfan, abbot of Bardsey Island.
New Virgin-martyr Helen of Sinope (18th c.).
The Scripture Readings
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
9 For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, 10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?
Prayer for the Church
11 Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
34 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”
Woe to the Pharisees and Lawyers
37 And as He spoke, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him. So He went in and sat down to eat. 38 When the Pharisee saw it,he marveled that He had not first washed before dinner.
39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. 40 Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But rather give alms of such things as you have; then indeed all things are clean to you.