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,
Photo: Archpriest Seraphim Cardoza, and his sweet wife, Matushka Juliana, have been spending the week with us. Father is rector of the ROCOR parish in Rogue River, Oregon, and a long time friend of of our monastic community.
Thursday October 18, 2018 / October 5, 2018
21st Week after Pentecost. Tone three.
Martyr Charitina of Amisus (304).
Sts. Peter (1326), Alexis (1378), Jonah (1461), Macarius (1563), Philip (1569), Job (1607), Hermogenes (Germogen) (1612), Tikhon (1925), Peter (1326), Philaret (1867), Innocent (Veniaminov) (1879), and Macarius (1563), metropolitans of Moscow.
Venarable Gabriel confessor (1959).
Venerable Damian the Healer (1071), and Venerables Jeremiah(1070) and Matthew (1085), clairvoyants of the Kiev Caves.
Venerable Charitina, princess of Lithuania (1281).
Hieromartyr Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria (265).
Martyr Mamelta (Mamelchtha) of Persia (344).
Venerable Gregory (Grigol) the Archimandrite of Chandzoe in Klarjeti, Georgia (861) (Georgia).
Venerable Fathers and Mothers of the Klarjeti Wilderness (9th c.).
Venerable Cosmas, abbot in Bithynia (10th c.).
Uncovering of the relics (1841) of Venerable Eudocimus the Unknown, monk of Vatopedi, Mt. Athos (Greek).
Venerable Methodia of Cimola (1908) (Greek).
St. John (Mavropos), metropolitan of Euchaita (1100).
St. Sabbas of Vatopedi, Mt. Athos (1350).
St. Varlaam, desert-dweller of Chikoysk (1846).
Uncovering of the relics of New Hieromartyr Bishop Basil of Kineshma (1945).
The Scripture Readings
9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep,and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
17 And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.
John the Baptist Sends Messengers to Jesus
18 Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things. 19 And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
20 When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ ” 21 And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.
22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, thelepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
24 When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings’ courts. 26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is he of whom it is written:
‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’
28 For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
29 And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.