Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Archimandrite Justin (Popovic)

 Here is a homily given by Archimandrite Justin (Popovic) on the Sunday of the Paralytic at the Ćelije convent, 1978. That year this Sunday coincided with the day commemorating St John the Theologian (May 8):

 In four words is expressed the entire mystery of this (and the other) world, and of every person, and of the mystery of my being, and of the mystery of your being. If there were no Risen Lord, His Resurrection would not be; if there were no Risen Lord, we would not be. There would be no Christian in the world.

How did the Lord Christ conquer this world, how did Christianity conquer this world? You know that in the beginning of Christianity the great and powerful Roman Empire persecuted Christians everywhere for 330 years. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Sacrament of Confession

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St. Cosmas Aitolos

Perhaps the most misunderstood sacrament of the Christian Church is confession (or repentance). How did it originate? What role does a priest play? Is there a special procedure for confession? The Holy Scriptures hold answers to these questions.

God’s Word promises «If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness» (1 John 1:9). The faithful are to bring their sins to God in repentance and receive cleansing and forgiveness.

The early Christians would stand and confess their sins to God in the presence of the whole congregation. Jesus encouraged His followers to walk in the light together, to confront problems corporately, to «tell it to the church» (Matt. 18:17). Thus James writes, «Confess your trespasses to one another» (James 5:16). But as time went on and the Church grew in numbers, strangers came to visit and public confession became more difficult. Out of mercy, priests began to witness confessions of sin privately on behalf of the Church.

Jesus, giving His disciples the authority to forgive sin, said, «If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained» (John 20:23; c.f. Matt. 16:19, 18:17-19). From the beginning, Christians understood that the grace of ordination endowed the shepherd of the flock with the discernment and compassion to speak the words of remission, on behalf of Christ, regarding the sins of those who confess and turn from sin. For God has promised the removing of sin from us «as far as the east is from the west» (Ps. 103:12). St. John Chrysostom says, «The priests decree below, God confirms above, and the Master agrees with the opinion of His slaves». Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Sacrament (Mystery) of Unction

Jesus Healing a Blind Man. Batik. Dr. P. Solomon Raj, India.

Jesus Healing a Blind Man. Batik. Dr. P. Solomon Raj, India.

 

Healing

The Orthodox Church has always viewed body and soul as inseparable thus stressing the necessity for preserving both in good health, following Jesus Christ’s exhortation to his disciples to «heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons» (Matthew 10:10). This follows Christ’s ministry to «heal the brokenhearted, and to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind» (Luke 4:18; see Is 61:1), and to heal «all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease (Matt. 4:23). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Marriage

Ο Γάμος εν Κανά. Περιοδικό Πεμπτουσία, τεύχος 3, σελίδα 148

The Wedding in Cana. Fresco from the Church of St. Sophia in Trebizond (Pontus), ca. 1250-1270. ("Pemptousia" magazine, issue 3, pg. 148)

The family is the basic unit or ‘cell’ of society, and the Christian family is also a major building block of the Orthodox Church. The Church places greet importance on the family to fulfil its role as a small church, as expressed by the Apostle Paul. When St. Paul greeted Priscilla and Aquila, his «fellow workers in Christ Jesus» he also greeted «the church that is in their house» (Romans 16:3, 5). He also greeted «Nymphas and the church that is in his house» (Col 4:15). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »