Monday, December 14, 2015


St. Paul writes to the Colossians, "For by Him [Christ] all things were created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible....  All things were created by Him and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist [have their being]."  That is: Jesus Christ is not a mere creature--no matter how exalted.  He is "supernatural" according to the proper meaning of this word: uncreated.  As the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, He is God, and therefore--contrary to what the arch heretic Arius taught--there was not [a time] when He was not.  (Notice the brackets: what Arius actually taught was that Christ was created before the creation of time).

This claim cannot be made concerning the founder of any other world religion.  Even the Koran, it seems, considers Jesus to be the Word of God, Who will come again to judge the word--whereas Mohammed is a mere mortal who has long since returned to the dust of the earth.  But the hearts of the Jewish leaders were darkened, their spiritual eyes blinded: and so they dared in their presumption to pass judgment upon the Godman--He who had taken flesh from the pure blood of a Virgin, willingly suffering a brutal death upon the Cross that those who believe in Him might be granted the gift of eternal life in His heavenly Kingdom.

The Jewish leaders knew not (or perhaps refused to acknowledge) that Jesus was in truth the pre-existent Christ, the very One Who had revealed the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai.  Nor did they understand that the real purpose of this Law was to guide the Jews into a higher understanding of the truth, drawing them into a closer relationship with the living God: not to bind them to the earth through a slavish obedience to a legalistic set of rules and regulations.

Christ came to earth not to enslave us, but rather to save and enlighten the fallen human race.  "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," as He assures us.  And so it was that He--as the Lord of the Sabbath--deigned on the Sabbath to set free the woman who had been bound for eighteen years by a spirit of infirmity.  And while the leaders--consumed by jealousy--gnashed their teeth and sought to destroy Him, "all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him."

Indeed, it is by the grace of God that we are saved, and not by the works of the Law.  While we must ever strive to fulfill the pious precepts as set forth in the Canons of the Church (not as an end in itself, but rather for the sake of our salvation), we must never forget that it is only through communion with the living  and compassionate God of love that we can hope to be delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the Kingdom of light.

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