St. Nectarios Monthly Message
Message from Father John:
A Foretaste of God’s Heavenly Glory and our Response to God
Pre-tasting food items and trying out particular products have become common practice in our daily lives. When you visit a large grocery store, various promoters will invite you to taste their new food items in order to predispose you to buy them. When you go to an automobile dealership, the salesman will offer to take you for a test drive in order to convince you to buy the automobile. We frequently receive in the mail samples of products or coupons for various items so we can try them out and become satisfied consumers of these products.
Our Church also invites us to taste her “product” --Her divine message-- and become dedicated members and followers of Christ. In Her Communion hymns, the Church invites us to “taste and see that the Lord is good;” to “partake of the Body of Christ and taste the delight of the immortal spring.” And when we have experienced the fruits of God’s presence in Holy Communion, we exclaim in exaltation,”We have seen the true Light, we have received the Heavenly Spirit; we have found the True Faith, Which has saved us.”
In the Feast of Holy Transfiguration, Jesus invited His three Disciples, Peter, John and James, to “foretaste His divine Glory, according to their ability.” On Mount Tabor, Jesus was “transfigured” before their very eyes. He allowed His divine Glory to shine through His humanity. Moses, who delivered Israel from the Egyptian slavery, and Elijah, who brought back to God Israel from the pagan worship of Baal, were the great Prophets of Israel. They were to appear before the coming of the Messiah. During Jesus’ Transfiguration, they were now conversing with him. And the voice of God the Father proclaimed Jesus His beloved Son and told His Disciples to listen to Him.
What a magnificent Theophany and revelation of God! Jesus’ three Disciples always remembered this magnificent, heavenly experience. They repeatedly referred to this Godly vision in their preaching and writings to the Churches of God: “Him Whom we have seen and heard we proclaim to you!” With these words they shared their heavenly experience with the other Christians.
The experience of “the Glory of God,” His divine “Doxa,” (glory), gives the meaning to our name “Ortho-dox.” It literally means the “True Glory,” the “Uncreated Energy,” the saving Grace of God, which we experience in our His life as “Divine Light.” That’s why on Easter night, we invite the faithful to “Come and receive Light from the Unwaning Light and glorify Christ Who rose from the dead.”
We are invited to truly experience the real presence of God in our lives and taste the Godly fruits: peace, joy, love…” We might not have had the privilege of directly experiencing the Holy Transfiguration of Christ, but we receive a foretaste of Christ’s Divine Glory when we act as good Christians, participate in the Holy Sacraments of our Church, and truly love one another. Jesus told His Disciples that the “people will know that you are my Disciples, if you love one another.” The same criterion applies to us today: People will know that we are Christians by witnessing our way of life and the spiritual fruits we produce. The world around us has great need of good Christian examples and fruits of the Spirit.
With love, Fr. John P. Angelis
Myron the Martyr of Cyzicus; Straton, Philip, Eutychian, & Cyprian the Martyrs of Nicomedea; Afterfeast of the Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary; Demetrios the New, Righteous-Martyr of Samaria; Eutychios, Eutychianos and Kassiani the siblings; Paul, Juliana, and those martyred with them (the executioners)
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