Christianity is about movement and vision (“come and see” as we heard in today’s Gospel), movement and vision that are not limited to the physical realm or in the confines of the mind, but rather take our hearts, which have been overshadowed by the grace of the Holy Spirit, on the journey that introduces us into the heavenly kingdom.
The culmination of the great lenten struggle is found in the glorious events of the crucifixion and resurrection of Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. According to Christian teaching these are the most important events in the entire history of the universe. Yet, in order for them to be understood as more than myth or legend, something must anchor them to reality.
On this first Sunday of Great Lent, we commemorate the restoration of icons in the Byzantine Empire many centuries ago. We do so not for merely artistic reasons, but because the icons proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ and call us to share in our Lord’s holiness in every dimension of our lives.
The residents of Pskov came out onto the streets. Kneeling in front of their houses; each family, met the Tsar with the bread and salt of greeting. On one of the streets, Blessed Nikolai ran out, riding a broomstick, and shouting “Ivanushka, Ivanushka, come eat bread and salt instead of Christians’ blood.”
The Lord God bestowed free will upon Adam, as He also has upon you and me. This is a very great but also very responsible gift. As a test of free will, as a confirmation of faithfulness to the Father, in Paradise grew the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Of course it was also intended for man, but the Lord foretold that the time had not yet come for young Adam to know about good and evil.
Is it possible to forgive everyone for everything in one day, and what should we do if it doesn’t work? Fr. Konstantin Kobelev, the rector of the Church of the Protection of the Mother of God in Butyrka Prison in Moscow, discusses the stages in the process of offering forgiveness.
“Forgive me…” Such easy, simple words! It doesn’t even take a deep breath to say them. It took mankind so many generations, tears, sins and so much suffering to respond to the call for repentance by the Holy Prophet and Forerunner John, the Baptist of the Lord, with the words: “Forgive me, O Lord!” and enter the waters of the Jordan.
On February 27, the 101st anniversary of the martyrdom of Archpriest Paul Dernov and his sons Boris, Gregory, and Simeon, the holy family was liturgically glorified among as saints among the Synaxis of Russian New Martyrs and Confessors.
We recall the event that the world either doesn’t know about or tries very hard to forget. And the devil does everything he can to make sure that people either don’t think about it, or don’t know about it, or don’t know what it will be like.