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May 14, 2008 + A Dead God? (Part 2)

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by Fr. James C. Meena

Word Magazine, April 1980 

We worship together in the Eucharistic celebration for more than an hour and we walk together liturgically through the life of Christ from all the prophecies that were spoken of Him, His teachings, His life and for about two minutes we dwell on His death. That’s all! And the rest of the time it’s Resurrection! Victory! The Conquest of death and the promise of eternal life for all those who believe. “We trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of them that believe,” (I Timothy 4:10).

Some of us believe that all of this “religion” is just so much ritual and so much social necessity. That’s too bad, because we are missing the whole point of being Christian in accordance with the Orthodox faith . . . The Right Believing Faith . . . that is living! That’s what it means to be a Christian . . . Living as Christ wants you to live . . .Living as though you lived with Christ . . . Living as though Christ is in you and you in Him. Believe in Christ, be committed to Christ, and it is impossible for you in your lifestyle to contradict the things which He demands of you.

clip_image004“I am the Resurrection and the life,” He said. “God is the God not of the dead but of the living.” If you are alive you are in Christ. If you are in Christ you are alive! You cannot worship a dead God! If you believe that Jesus died and rose again from the dead and that by His great power, God will bring all those who believe in Jesus with Him in the Resurrection, and if you believe, with your whole heart when we sing “Christ is Risen” that we are proclaiming the victorious cry of the Church that resounds through the ages, that we are repeating the words of the Angel to the Myrrh-Bearing Women, “He is not here. He is Risen, come and see the place where they laid Him,” you are part of Him already.

Forgive me if I seem to berate you, dear reader, for sometimes I become anxious for your oneness with Christ and I lose sight of your humanness. But Jesus never loses sight of our human frailties. St. Athanasios put it perfectly when he said: “God became man so that men might become God.” Christ nullified our corruptible humanity. He set us apart from the world and paid a great price in order that we might be different, that you and I might be alive rather than dead. That means something to me and I hope it means something to you as well.

As we exclaim, time after time after time, “Christ is Risen,” let it be with conviction and let that conviction so transform the style of our lives that we never again bow down to a dead God.

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Pachomius The Great, May 15

clip_image006Troparion of St Pachomius Tone 5

As a pastor of the Chief Shepherd thou didst guide flocks of monks into the heavenly sheepfold thyself illumined, thou didst instruct others concerning the Habit and Rule. And now thou dost rejoice with them in the heavenly mansions.

Kontakion of St Pachomius Tone 2

O Godbearing Pachomius, after living the life of Angels in thy body thou wast granted their glory. Now thou art standing with them before God's throne and praying that we all may be forgiven.

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