Reasons to rejoice

25 October OS 2016 – Monday of the Sixth Week of St. Luke; Holy Martyrs Marcian and Martyrius; St. Tabitha the Merciful

Today in the Holy Gospel, Our Lord instructs the apostles on the infinitely great privilege of being a Christian:

The Lord said to His disciples, All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. – Luke 10: 22-24

Toward the end of his earthly life, St. Seraphim of Sarov said “Christ is Risen!” every day to everyone.   He had completely interiorized the reality of what it means to be an Orthodox Christian.   He knew that a Christian has no excuse to be sad.

In the midst of today’s chaos, in which outward events appear to be spinning out of control with increasing speed daily, it has really become a life-or-death matter to center our minds firmly on ultimate and unchanging reality, or we will lose our minds. The good news is that ultimate and unchanging reality really exists, and that it is not the blind force of Fate or some faceless, crushing Thing that demands that we annihilate our personality to attain peace, but a Person Who loves us, Jesus Christ the Son of God, and Who enables us to remain and to become who we really are.

Just as, in our human relationships, the people we take for granted the most often, and the most unjustly, are those who care most for us, in our spiritual life we take for granted the most caring One of all, to Whom we owe everything, and Who has given us everything, our loving Lord.

Out of totally gratuitous love, He called us from non-being into being. We did not need to exist, and we had no right to exist. He made us.

Out of totally gratuitous love, He became a man and died on the Cross for us, shedding His infinitely Precious Blood to forgive our sins and unite us to God.

Out of totally gratuitous love, in His mysterious Providence He called each of us into His Holy Church, and He gives us every gift of grace and nature needed to attain eternal life, and to help our loved ones to do the same.

When we are troubled and cast down by the utter falseness and unreliability of this world, let us recall, joyfully and with grateful hearts, that our true home is not here, but there, where Christ sits at the right hand of God the Father.  Our eyes have seen, our ears have heard, our hearts have known His love for us. What more do we want?

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. – I John 1: 1-4



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