Message from Father John

Creation was Created Good

Don’t be fooled by the conflicting philosophical ideas and theories about creation.  Creation was Created “good;” and man and woman “very good.”  To be sure, man and woman and all the Created things have now weaknesses and imperfections because of our progenitors’ rebellion.  But they have not completely lost their goodness. 

The Son of God, the Divine Logos, became Incarnate to heal us, and restore God’s image in us.  Healed, we have now the ability, with the assistance of God’s Grace, to grow and become Godlike, like the Saints of God.

From ancient times, the majority of the philosophers taught a dualism.  Man was composed of an immortal soul imprisoned in an unworthy body.  Salvation for them was the release of the soul from the corrupted, unworthy body.  To speak, therefore, of the resurrection of the body and its reunification with the immortal soul was for them a blasphemy and completely unacceptable.

But for our Lord Jesus Christ and His Teaching In the Bible, the body of man and woman was Created Very Good and was made alive by the “Breath of God,” His Holy Spirit.  Man and woman are “very good” in the sight of God. 

We could not depict The “Image” of God in the Old Testament, because His Beloved Son, His Logos, was not yet Incarnate, born as God-Man. He had not yet assumed His Immaculate body from the Virgin Mary.

 

  With His Birth, He assumed our complete human nature.  He became a God-Man, both human and divine at the same time.  As such, we could see, hear and touch Him.  He was like us in His human nature, but without sin.  His human nature was ineffably united to His Divine Nature without “confusion, division, change…,” as the 4th Ecumenical Council proclaimed.  As such, we could have taken a picture of Him (if we then had a camera), or draw His image, make an icon of Him, as the iconographers have done.

  The Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council, Who restored the icons of the Church, and Whom we honor this Sunday, stressed the fact of Jesus true incarnation, which is central for our redemption and salvation.  St.  Athanasios stressed this point in his book on the “Incarnation of the Word.”  He wrote, “God became man in order for man to become God in Grace.”  We only venerate the persons depicted on the Icons.  We worship only God.  Icons receive the blessing of the Spirit of God.  That is why some icons are miraculous.

  We need to remember what happened to us when we became Christians.  The Triune God cleansed our human nature in our baptism and endowed it with His Grace in our Chrismation.  Christ feeds us in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist in every Divine Liturgy.  God sanctifies our life with the other Sacraments of the Church.

  There is no salvation without participation in the Holy Sacraments of the Church.  Christ established His Church as our mother to come to her to listen to Christ’s teaching and participate in the Holy Sacraments.  He invites all of us to participate and be saved.  He respects the freedom He has granted us.  It is up to us to respond and reap His fruits.

With love, Fr. John P. Angelis

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