Honesty before God begins with transparency
Transparency of the heart must rule, if we are to have an honest relationship with God. Nothing can be hidden from the Lord, yet we often live as though we can hide that which we know is not pleasing to God. Putting on a face may work with relatives we’d rather not see, but trying to fake piety and goodness does not work with God. We can not hide our innermost thoughts from God, yet we often act as though this were possible. If we are truly desirous of a relationship with God, we must begin by being honest with ourselves, confronting that part of ourselves that needs to be changed.
Honesty with self begins with confession, revealing our sins openly and without reservation, to our confessor. Because it is easy to hide the truth from ourselves, the role of the confessor becomes all the more important, for the priest acts as witness before Christ, helping us dig deeper, exposing the sin that needs to be rooted out. It is impossible to continue a charade when we have revealed our faults before a witness, and the spiritual direction we receive from the confessor helps us in our struggle for conversion of life.
Transformation begins with the grace that is received from God when we have made a good confession, and helps us set the course for change. The transparency that comes when we are honest with our confessor, is like washing a window clean. We can see through the window for the first time, and the nous is opened, making way for the Lord to take up residence in our heart. This cleansing of the nous is like cleaning up the pollution that has kept us trapped in bad behavior, and unable, or perhaps unwilling, to look too closely at our darkened, corrupted self. With this transparency comes compunction, and with compunction comes the gift of tears, washing away the grit and grime that has darkened the nous, and kept God at bay.
Love in Christ,
Tuesday May 4, 2021 / April 21, 2021
Bright Week. Fast-free
“Iveron” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (movable holiday on the Tuesday of the Bright Week).
Blessed Martyrs and Fathers of the St. David-Gareji Monastery (17th c.) (Georgia) (movable holiday on the Tuesday of the Bright Week).
“Shuisky” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (movable holiday on the Tuesday of the Bright Week).
Hieromartyr Januarius, bishop of Benevento, and his companions: Festus, Proclus, and Sosius, deacons; Desiderius, reader; and Eutychius and Acutius, laymen, at Pozzuoli (305).
Hieromartyr Theodore of Perge in Pamphylia, his mother Philippa, and Martyrs Dioscorus, Socrates, and Dionysius (2nd c.).
Uncovering of the relics (1999) of St. Theodore of Sanaxar (1791).
St. Alexis, priest of Bortsumany, Nizhni-Novgorod (1848).
New Hieromartyr John priest (1918).
St. Nicholas confessor, priest (1933).
New Hieromartyr Alexis priest (1938).
New Hieromartyr Protopresbyter Basil Martysz of Teratyn (Chelm and Podlasie, Poland) (1945).
Martyrs Isaacius, Apollo, and Codratus of Nicomedia (303).
St. Maximus (Maximian), patriarch of Constantinople (434).
The Mozdok Icon of the Mother of God.
Martyr Alexandra the Empress (303).
Venerable Jakov (James) of Stromynsk.
St. Niphon, bishop of Novgorod (Kiev Caves).
Venerable Beuno, abbot of Clynnog, England (ca. 640) (Celtic & British).
St. Maelruba of Apur Crossan (722) (Celtic & British).
St. Ethilwald, hermit of Farne. (Celtic & British).
St. Anastasius of Sinai (beg. of 8th c.).
The Scripture Readings
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
21 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.’
12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.
The Road to Emmaus
13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”
18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”
19 And He said to them, “What things?”
So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”
25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
The Disciples’ Eyes Opened
28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.
30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.