Saturday, January 21, 2017


As the Holy Prophet Isaiah proclaimed, "The people which sat in darkness saw great light; to them that sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up."  Today this prophecy is fulfilled, for having descended into the waters of the Jordan, Christ enlightened the whole universe with the grace and glory of the Holy Trinity.  Through Baptism, the path of salvation has been revealed and the gates of Paradise have been opened to those who repent (that is, turn again to the light of Truth).  Therefore does our Lord proclaim at the beginning of His ministry, "Repent: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."

Thus "unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ."  And so it is not true, as our nation's founding document states, that all men are created equal.  Even the pigs in that perceptive novel Animal Farm had to concede in the end that while all animals are created equal, some are more equal than others.  God grants His good gifts to all and sundry according to His inscrutable Providence, and it is manifestly evident that some people are given greater gifts than are others.  We are not all equal, but... we are all nevertheless totally unique and infinitely precious in the eyes of God.  Nor is any gift truly small if we use it humbly for the greater glory of God.  What matters in the end, as St. Paul assures us, is "that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief."

It is through sincere humility and a genuine spirit of repentance that we are saved: not because we are somehow better or more exalted than other people, but rather because we have taken whatever measure of grace God has bestowed upon us and used it wisely, according to our best God given ability. 

And now--though I am a priest--I will end this sermon on a political noteThe Bodiless Powers--the Heavenly Hosts who were created at the dawn of time--are hierarchical in nature, as demonstrated by the mystical theologian St. Dionysios the Areopagite.  The Church Christ established reflects this same pattern, as does a God protected Orthodox monarchy. Thereby is maintained a peaceful order and the faithful discharge of obligations--while God-given rights are guaranteed at every level of society.  And this, my friends, is the ideal image that will only find its complete fulfillment when the Kingdom of God is fully revealed at the end of time. 

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