Saturday, November 28, 2020
November 28, 2020 Reflections from Father Simeon
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Somethings must be said about this Saturday's Epistle and Gospel. Saturday's Epistle, from Apostle Paul to the Galatians, warns us against about receiving, accepting or presenting a false version of the Gospel. Saturday's Gospel, from Apostle Luke, rejoices though for the one who has received the correct Gospel as if they were young children or babes. How can we, through our behavior, preach a false Gospel? By not following the commandments of Christ. How then can we preach or live the Gospel correctly? By immersing ourselves fully in Christ.
If we participate constantly in the Sacraments then we will be healed and transformed so that we become like Christ. As the hymn during the Sacrament of Baptism states, "As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ..." (Galatians 3:27). If we Sacramentally continue to live a life of repentance, then we will preserve our spiritual baptism garment incorrupt. In this way we will acquire the Mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), where we will unceasingly say, with each heartbeat, the words, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!" Only then will we have fully embraced the Gospel in our hearts, "... that which has been hidden from the wise and understanding..." Only then can we truly preach the Gospel authentically, through our behavior, as Christians.
The only way to do this, is to approach the Sacraments, specifically Holy Confession & Holy Communion, with open hearts like young children or babes (Luke 10:21). The only path to becoming good, or rather becoming Christlike is by giving Christ a place to lay his head on the manger of our hearts. For this reason, it is not possible to do anything good without Christ (John 15:5). In Holy Confession, we wash clean the Stables of our heart. In Holy Communion we receive Christ. As we pass through Thanksgiving and prepare for Christmas, let us give gratefully give Christ a gift of a place, in our hearts, to lay His head (Luke 9:58). What other gift can we give Him, other than ourselves? And to Christ, we owe everything. If we do this, if we give Christ a Home in our Hearts by constant participation in the Sacraments combined with genuine repentance, we will become very warm and loving like Him, since we will carry Him with us all the days of our lives.
May Apostle Paul and Apostle Luke continue to pray for us always!
Fr. Simeon Pardalis