Friday, January 29, 2016


As the Holy Prophet Isaiah foretold, "the people that sat in darkness saw great light; and to them that sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up."  Likewise, the Holy Apostle Paul proclaims, "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

Now the theme of light runs like a luminous thread throughout the pages of Holy Scripture--in both Testaments, Old and New.  Our Lord Himself affirms that He is the light of the world, and truly it is by the light of His revelation that He dispels the darkness of ignorance and deception that overshadowed the world before His coming. 

In the Mystery of Baptism, our souls and bodies are illumined by the light of grace and our spiritual eyes our opened that we might behold "the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."  Moreover, we are--as faithful Orthodox Christians--called to bear witness to this light in our daily lives and relationships, in the midst of a world that is being increasingly submerged in the dark sea of deception, ignorance and unbelief.  Christ Himself warns us that we not hide this light under a bushel, but that we should let it shine forth at all times and in all places.

But alas!  All too often we all but extinguish this light by indulging in sinful passions and--in general--living a worldly and self-centered life.  Our baptism robes are soiled and we find ourselves drifting further and further away from our divinely appointed destiny.  It is, of course, true that "we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."  But it is, nevertheless, our solemn duty to guard this treasure faithfully, to preserve it against every assault of the Evil One. 

This means, however, that we must be willing to strive and struggle to live a life of purity and sacrificial love, casting aside every work of darkness and enduring all things whatsoever for the sake of Christ.  And if this podvig should seem to be beyond our power--it certainly is.  Yet even so, we must remember always that by the grace of God, all things are possible.

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