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Listen Now. We will now be together with the day by day studying of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.

ENGAGED: The Call to Be Disciples

Go, subsequently and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the identify of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, instructing them to observe all that I’ve commanded you.  Matthew 28:19-20

Accepting the Invitation—Will You Be With Me? 

And Jesus went up the mountain and known as these whom He desired and they got here to Him. Mark Three:13

 

Good morning Prayer Team!

For these of us on the prayer group who’re married, are you able to bear in mind the day you bought engaged?  I don’t suppose most guys give a protracted speech about particular hopes, goals and particulars, and if that’s the case, I don’t suppose most women would do not forget that.  The gist of what will get stated is “Will you be with me?  I want to be with you.  Let’s build a life together.”  Getting engaged didn’t imply constructing a life collectively at THAT second in time.  It was a dedication to be collectively and construct that life. 

We don’t have marriage ceremony vows per se in the Orthodox Church, however most of us are aware of them from the motion pictures—husbands and wives vow to be collectively “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer,” and so forth.  The dedication to be collectively transcends good occasions and unhealthy ones, joyful occasions and unhappy occasions, occasions of marital bliss and occasions of marital strife. 

The invitation of Christ is akin to a wedding proposal.  He needs to share Himself with us, to intertwine Himself into our lives, in order that we will be intertwined with Him for everlasting life.  Our relationship with Christ is meant to transcend the good occasions and the unhealthy ones, the joyful occasions and the unhappy ones, the occasions of bliss and the occasions of strife.  Whether or not we’re materially wealthy, Christ needs for us (and allows us) to be spiritually wealthy.  And in contrast to the line in the vows which says “til death do us part,” we all know that at the second of our earthly dying, we will grow to be even nearer to Christ, for the date of our dying, for the religious Christian, is the day we enter into life in His Kingdom.

For those that are fortunately married, we all know that one ingredient of a contented marriage is to give the best loyalty to our partner, to our partner first, even forward of ourselves.  And after we are with our partner, with the individual we love, it typically doesn’t matter what we’re doing.  We are completely satisfied simply BEING collectively, BEING in the similar room, SHARING the similar house. 

Of course, it goes with out saying that we must always put our best loyalty and the first place of all to our Lord, with the second going to our partner.  Our lives ought to focus on Christ, reasonably than centering Christ round our lives.  Christ must be at the middle.  We ought to focus on Him. 

And simply as with our spouses, whom we’re completely satisfied to simply BE with, we must always have the similar pleasure after we are BEING with the Lord.  We don’t want to do essentially something, simply BE with the Lord.

There is a good looking quote in a single of my favourite books, “Beginning to Pray” by Archbishop Anthony Bloom.  Bloom writes:

In the life of a Catholic priest of France, the Cure d’Ars, Jean Baptiste Vianney, there’s a story of an outdated peasant who used to spend hours and hours sitting in the chapel immobile, doing nothing.  The priest stated to him “What are you doing all those hours?”  The outdated peasant stated, “I look at Him,, He looks at me and we are happy.”  (Beginning to Prayer, 1970, p. 94)

It is so stunning how the peasant takes enjoyment of simply being with the Lord.  We do every part so darn quick, it appears, we breeze by way of every part, and we now have a tough time slowing down and simply being.  We are all in the “running” class.  The first invitation of the Lord to the disciples wasn’t to run, or work, or do something, simply be—simply to cease and share His firm.  It doesn’t matter what is alleged, the way it’s stated and even that it’s stated.  We are supposed to take enjoyment of being in the mere presence of God. 

Those who’re fortunately married to their spouses know that the invitation to share a life is one that’s answered day by day.  It is a dedication that’s renewed day by day.  It is renewed with time, with care, with an intimate closeness.  The similar factor is true with our relationship with God—It shouldn’t be a one time dedication however one we renew day by day.  It is renewed with time, with care, with an intimate closeness present in prayer, in stillness, in worship, in Holy Communion.  It is renewed by way of acts of kindness and charity, a way of love for God and an expression of love for our neighbor. 

Before we start every day, diving into its alternatives and challenges, we now have to bear in mind the invitation of the Lord—Will you come, as we speak?  Will you be with Me as we speak? 

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you’ll dwell in the land, and take pleasure in safety.  Take enjoyment of the Lord, and He offers you the needs of your coronary heart.  Commit your method to the Lord; belief in Him, and He will act. . .Be nonetheless earlier than the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. . .Depart from evil and do good; so shall you abide without end.  For the Lord loves justice; He is not going to forsake His saints.  The mouth of the righteous utters knowledge, and his tongue speaks justice.  The legislation of his God is in his coronary heart; his steps don’t slip.  The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their refuge in the time of bother.  The Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the depraved, and save them, as a result of they take refuge in Him. Psalm 37:Three-5, 7, 27-28, 30-31, 39-40.

Accept the invitation to BE with Christ as we speak!

 

+Fr. Stavros

         

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With Roger Hunt offering as we speak’s Daily Reading: Listen Now.

These readings are below copyright and is utilized by permission. All rights reserved. These works will not be additional reproduced, in print or on different web sites or in every other kind, with out the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA, Apolytikion of Abbot Marcellus © Narthex Press, Kontakion of Abbot Marcellus © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and utilized by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Photo Credit: St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church

 

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