Saturday, March 19, 2016


We read in today's Gospel for the Sunday of Orthodoxy, "Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the Law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth... And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?  Philip saith unto him, Come and see." 

Orthodoxy, you see, is no mere philosophy or logical system: it is the experience of the living God revealed in the Person of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ.  Thus a true theologian is one who attains, through prayer and fasting, first-hand, experiential knowledge of the Holy Trinity.  It follows, therefore, that great intellect is not required in order to  comprehend and to live the Orthodox Faith.  All it takes is a humble and contrite heart and the willingness to deny oneself, to take up one's cross, and to follow Him.  After all, our Lord called simple fishermen to be His disciples, while allowing little children to come unto Him.  He insisted, in fact, that if we should desire to enter the heavenly Kingdom, we must become as little children. 

It stands to reason, then, that it is not through clever arguments and learned debates that we shall succeed in drawing unbelievers to the Faith, but primarily through  an invitation to "come and see."  This involves, of course, encouraging seekers of the Truth to  experience the transcendent beauty of the Divine Liturgy... but more than this, we should so strive to live our lives that the light of Christ may through us be made manifest to the world.  And above all, it is through the love that we believers have one for another that they shall know we are Christians.  It is true that through our holy icons--as windows to heaven--many who thirst for the living waters will indeed be drawn to the Faith, but even more so shall our witness to the Truth bear fruit when we ourselves become, through the grace of God, living icons of Christ. 

And even so--if our own faith should seem to be weak and ineffectual and we find ourselves tempest tossed upon a sea of doubts--let us remember that we "are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses"--even the Holy Fathers and martyrs of all ages who were filled with the Holy Spirit and thereby were enabled to bear witness to the all-surpassing power and glory of our Faith.  Let us, therefore, "lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith."

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