Posts Tagged ‘Lord Jesus’

Seventh Sunday of Great Lent | Palm Sunday

Written by Fr. Louka Sidarous on . Posted in Feasts, Sunday Contemplations

feasts_entry_into_jerusalem_007

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zech 9:9)

This is how the Lord invites us to rejoice and be extremely glad, through the words of Zechariah the prophet, on the day Jesus Christ enters Jerusalem. Hence we hope to take our share and enjoy that spiritual happiness on this day. Jesus has entered unto us this day to reign over us. Then rise O beloved ones with praises and rejoice and spread your clothes, take off the old, raise the banner of victory in your life and hold the palm branches in your hands. Say to the Lord: Amen, come O our Lord Jesus, reign over us, reign over our heart, like the temple in Jerusalem. Drive out those who hinder our worship…for our hearts have become the den of thieves. The world has entered it in negligence and has ruined its beauty, though it was once the house of prayers. O Lord drive out those who sold doves, overturn the tables of the money exchangers. Purify our hearts so that they can return to you. Once more fill our heart with the incense of prayers and the offerings of praises.

Hosanna

This is our praise for today. This is our asking of the Lord, ‘Save us…save us.’ Today is the day of salvation. On the dawn of this day the Lord entered the house of Zacchaeus and said, “Today salvation has come to this house.” (Luke 19:9). Today Timaeus the blind cried out saying, “Jesus Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:48). So the Lord opened his eyes. Do not stop repeating the name of salvation that is for our Lord Jesus Christ…experience the power of His salvation and the strength of His arms.

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord

The Lord has preceded that by saying, “I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Luke 13:35). This phrase benefits our hearts to accept the kingdom of Jesus. Then we can welcome Him to reign in our hearts. We hope to always say it to the Lord so that we can see His face….we always say this phrase before the reading of the Gospel, in every liturgy, to welcome the words of the Gospel in a prepared heart. For he who accepts the Word accepts Christ the King, because He is the incarnate Word of God.

The characteristics of the Kingdom of Christ as it has been declared unto us today:

The King of Peace:

The first thing that was declared in the Kingdom of Christ was the great rejoice and the peaceful heart. Since the first moments of His birth, the multitude of angels rejoiced with the everlasting praises, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace…” (Luke 2:14). Hence, today the multitudes glorify the Lord saying, “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.” (Luke 19:38). Peace is just one of the signs that Christ is among us, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you.” (John 14:27). Therefore, if we miss this peaceful heart and the spiritual joy, then we are not ready for Jesus to live within us.

The King of victory:

Christ has come to destroy the deeds of Satan. Our faith in Jesus is a victory over the world, over death, over bodily desires and over the love of the world. Jesus has raised Lazarus from the dead, so we were victorious over the fear that threatened our lives. That is why the multitudes rejoiced on this day and went out to meet Him, for they heard that he carried out those miracles, “The justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Rom. 3:26) He who accepts Jesus as King on this day will never be enslaved, for Jesus has reigned over us and gave us freedom to become the sons of God.

The King of Tears:

He who was victorious over death, cried over Lazarus who died. He who sanctified the temple has cried over Jerusalem. This day Jesus is in our midst. He is the King who is crying for those who are laying around us in the desire of the world and sins, the ones who have ignored the time for their salvation. This day Jesus is in our midst crying for those slain by sin. Those are the ones who have rejected to shelter under the spread of the cross and the shadows of the wings of His love. On this day, we hope to recognize the extent of His tears, enter into the partnership of His love and sacrifice for mankind.

The King of meekness:

Jesus neither reign with the sword, nor with the power of mankind. The kingdom of Jesus is not spread by wars, or by a materialistic power….Jesus is a meek King, gentle and lowly at heart. He gently reigns, not with vehemence. He who accepts the kingdom of Christ learns to be like his teacher. He does not shout, does not feud and no one on the streets hear his voice. Every time we lose our meekness and humility, then we have lost the characteristics of Jesus and we are no longer in His likeness.

The law of Christ is, “It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master.” (Matt. 10:25)

Christ is the King over the children

One of the major characteristics of the Kingdom of Christ is the likeness of children. That is why the Lord has previously said, “Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 18:3)
John the evangelic witnessed in the Revelation one hundred forty four thousand children in heaven…a large band with amazing secrets. Also Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes.” (Luke 10:21) This day the children are like the angels praising without ceasing. Today, we need to return to our childhood, the warmth of love, which is pure without question and without glamor or pride. The closer we approach our first childhood we recognize the kingdom of Christ.

Jesus Reigned with Love

Today, Jesus entered Jerusalem to be crucified. This is the objective. He set his sight toward Jerusalem. For Jesus, the cross was His secret throne, on which the Lord has reigned with love. He has stretched His arms to encompass all mankind, and has sacrificed Himself for the whole world.
The cross is the sign of the kingdom of Christ. It is the sign of the Son of Man and at the same time it is the sign of the overwhelming love. It is the sign of sacrifice…through the cross there is no room for selfishness, self esteem or a place for hatred, detest or resentment. When we enter the kingdom of Jesus on this day it means our acceptance to become deep in love, every day, not only for our kin or close ones but for everyone. Here, love does not know any distinction or peculiarity.

If only, on this day, we persistently ask, ‘Your Kingdom come…blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord…save us.’

Sixth Sunday of Great Lent | The Man Bord Blind

Written by Fr. Louka Sidarous on . Posted in Fasts and Holy Pascha, Spirituality, Sunday Contemplations

miracles_christ_healing_the_born_blind_man_001

Who was at fault, him or his parents, for him to be born blind?

This is how the disciples asked the Lord Jesus. It is the nature of man to judge others and to reason all matters, though man is almost always wrong in his judgement… For who can get closer or predict God’s judgements, examination and means to conclude things… Our thoughts are so far from God’s thoughts, as heaven is from earth.

To reveal the Glory of God in him

This is how the Lord answered the inquiry of His disciples. God is capable of being glorified in those who are weak, in disasters, in those born deformed and in the incurable illnesses. God might have reasons beyond us in these matters… If we looked through the eyes of our Lord Jesus, we would have found that everything around us, no matter how difficult, they will lead to the glory of God…. When the Lord heard about the illness of Lazarus, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God.” (John 11:4). We hope that all matters would guide us to reach for the glory of God in our lives, and observe how God is glorified at the conclusions of all matters.

As long as I am in the world, then I am the light of the world

Jesus declares Himself for us… He came to declare to us Himself and for us to have unity with God. For the Lord revealed to us Jesus through His miracles, giving us the awareness and enjoyment of out rights. So Jesus in this miracle, He presents Himself to us, not as a cure for new eyes for a blind person, but presents Himself, even before doing the miracle… He is the light of the world… The blind, not by nature, but by the spirit, are those who sitting in darkness and the shadows of death. To know Jesus is to know the true Light, which lights for every person coming into the world. Whoever follows Jesus, will never walk in darkness, but with the light of Jesus, only then he will enjoy the Light… God who said let there be light from darkness, He is the one who lit into our hearts, to illuminate the knowledge of the glory of God in Jesus Christ.

After the Lord has pasted the eyes of the born blind with mud, He told him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.” (John 9:7). Here we are before a new creation, and the end of an old birth, according to the earthly body, the end of blindness, the wash with the spiritual water, and light that is rising for the first time. All of these matters indicate to us the idea of our experiences with baptism in our lives. One of the settings and teachings of the church is reading this same chapter of the Bible, when new souls are accepting the blessing of baptism, and acknowledging the secrets of God’s kingdom.

The baptism is seeing the Light

“And we know that the Son of God has come and have given us understanding, that we may know Him who is true.” (1 John 5:20). This is how the beloved St. John teaches us in his first letter. He makes the connection between the birth from God, the light and the love of the brethren. This is the eternal life, in which the church lives as a whole, and was also as recorded by the early fathers, who dwelt in the light.

The new sight, which God offered us with the new creation, is being cleansed in the holy water of baptism. We could say that we don’t look to the temporary things, but to the eternal ones.
The spiritual sight could accept the work of God in secret without argument or debate. For it would be as if the scales have fallen from our eyes as with Saul, and the darkness departed from it. The darkness of ignorance, without faith, when Ananias placed his hands on Saul. God sent Ananias for this, for immediately his sight was restored, Saul got up and was baptized.

The spiritual sight can see the illuminant angelic army, fighting on our behalf, while the world’s forces of evil surround us. We become full of confidence, and shout out saying, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (2 Kings 6:16). As Elisha the prophet said to his disciple, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” (2 Kings 6:17).

The spiritual sight sees with faith in fulfilling God’s commandments, His obedience and love, until the offering of the only begotten Son, like our great father Abraham. It sees beyond the natural senses and crosses all barriers. It can even see God’s ability to raise the dead.
It becomes stronger in faith, to the extent of seeing God. Even Abraham called that place “The-Lord-Will-Provide.” (Gen. 22:14). That is Abraham saw the Lord, he examined His cross, His sacrifice and his resurrection through the sacrifice of love, when he presented Isaac on the altar.

The spiritual sight that we received in baptism; through it we can clearly see the Lord … So we can say with good faith to others about the Lord Jesus, that we saw Him and observed Him with our own eyes. Then we can understand what was written to the Galatians, “Before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified.” (Gal. 3:1).

If we ignore the spiritual sight which we received in baptism then we will fall in the world with its desires, and defile, then this will make our sight weaker, and fatigue will cover our eyes. Therefore we could not be sure of seeing God any more. As the Lord told to the angel of the church of Laodiceans, “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked -.” (Rev. 3:17). Here is the weakness of sight, so one couldn’t identify himself and the truth of his condition. And the Lord said, “Anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” (Rev. 3:18). This is the repentance through scolding and divine correctives, the tears of regret and the return to God. The tears of repentance are our repetitive baptism, through which we regain our sight to know God, to know ourselves as well as our activities.

“After you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations.” (Heb. 10:32, 33). Paul the apostle told this to the Hebrews. Because after they accepted the faith and entered into the inheritance of the saints in the Light, they were enlightened in the Holy Spirit, and were subjected to reproaches and tribulations. This is clear when we observe the story of the born blind. For after the Lord opened his eyes, the Pharisees as well as the Jewish leaders subjected him to harsh resistance, and prosecution. Wasn’t that the state of the people in the past, after they went through the sea of baptism, they had to fight Amalek. Therefore, Satan watches our movements as an enemy, since the first instant the Lord opened our eyes through baptism, or by cleansing through tears of repentance… From this instance, Satan stood stirring up storms around us, and stirring up the people against us as if we are strangers in the community.

Do you believe in the Son of God? Lord, I believe! And he worshiped Him

It was not difficult for the human to utter the faith, like Peter, when the Lord opened his sight and he said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matt.16:16). For Jesus, through His word purifies the heart and cleanse the interior. “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” (John 15:3). The purity of the heart enables us to see God, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8).

Fifth Sunday of Great Lent | The Sick of Bethesda

Written by Fr. Louka Sidarous on . Posted in Fasts and Holy Pascha, Sunday Contemplations

miracle-healing-of-the-paralytic-sheeps-pool

Jesus went to Jerusalem during the feast. In Jerusalem there was a pool by the Sheep Gate, which is called Bethesda. Around the pool lay great multitudes who were sick, blind, and lame paralyzed waiting for the water to be stirred. For an angel came down and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Among the multitude of the sick laid this paralyzed man, who had an infirmity for thirty-eight years… When Jesus saw him, and knew that he had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” (John 5:6). The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” (John 5:7). Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” (John 5:8). And immediately the man was made well, took his bed, and walked. But it was the Sabbath… Afterwards Jesus found him and told him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” (John 5:14).

We wish to recognize that when Jesus looks at us… It is not an ordinary look from an ordinary individual, but as it is written, ‘Man looks at the eyes, but the Lord looks at the heart.’
Jesus’ look is full of all the affection which God has towards us. Every time, it renews within us the power of a new life. When I search for salvation, He looks at me with acceptance and encouragement to start the salvation work, as He looked at Zaccheus. When I am with tears of repentance, holding to the feet of Jesus, as He observed the sinful woman, and He told Simon, “Do you see this woman?” (Luke 7:44). But when the soul is sunk in sins, seeking salvation and peace, then Jesus looks at it and weeps for it, as He looked at Jerusalem and wept at it. When I am inclosed in the tomb of my desires with my foul smell and defile, the loved ones approach Jesus, on my behalf, and request, “Come and see.” (John 11:34). Then His eyes, full of tears and raised to heave, lifts me with great power like Lazarus. When I fall denying the love of Jesus, almost losing faith, then His looks toward me are like those when He looked towards Peter, during that evening of torment, He expels my soul out of the circle of despair. His look full of pity fills me with hope. This is how in all my tribulations, I find Jesus looking towards me, and every time His looks contain new salvation.

He saw him laying

What kind of look did Jesus direct towards that sick person, laying in his bed for 38 years. Later Jesus made it clear that the reason behind this illness was sin, “Sin no more.” (John 5:14). For sure, Jesus looked at him as the good Samaritan, who saw the man who was stripped naked by the thieves of sin, and left him between life and death. So when He saw him, He had pity on him. This was the same look when He saw the widow of Nain?. Those are our appearance when we are laying in the bed of sickness and are paralyses from doing the spiritual work for salvation. We are not even able to walk in the path of virtue. We can’t lift our hands for prayer, nor kneel to worship. We seldom direct our eyes up or are able to move towards God… Here the spiritual paralysis kindles the compassion of our Lord Jesus towards us. Therefore, He directs to us a pitiful look, approaching us and saying, “Do you want to be made well?” (John 5:6). For the Lord Jesus doesn’t question us about our condition in sin, or brings up inquires about the cause of the illness. But He directly asks about wanting to be made well, and this might be an anomalous question. Why does He question in this way? But Jesus wants to place us before the great truth with respect to our salvation, which is our desire.

He came for our salvation, and He fulfilled it through the cross and His resurrection. But we can not enjoy any of this without our own desire. For the human desire is the prime and a responsible entity. For Jesus doesn’t force or pressure the human desire. But on the contrary, He came to test the human desire, which was subdued by Satan. The human desire, by being alone and distant from God, doesn’t move anything or utters a thing. For the sick desired to be made well. But is his desire capable of curing him? The true cure is for his desire to accept the blessing of the work of Jesus and the power of His salvation. Therefore, his desire is strengthened by Jesus, and from there, the will of Jesus will be within us, which is our desire and our rejoice… This is the will of Jesus and His desire to be the entities we need. It is the enjoyment of the cure of our souls, the salvation of our spirit as well as our bodies. Isn’t that what we ask for in our hourly prayers… So be it Your will. I have no one to…

  •  A man appeared to Paul the Apostle in a vision, saying to him: “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” (Acts 16:9). A lot of souls around us screaming these calls, asking for help and for a word of salvation. A lot of souls have bloomed for harvest, but there is no one to stretch out his hands and do the work.
  •  And here is the sick from Bethesda, screaming today and complaining from the selfishness of man, everyone going his way… Everyone serving himself. Even the spiritual workers, labor for his own salvation, he wants to go down to the pool before others… He doesn’t care about the sinners. No one thinking about those around us, sick in sin… Multitudes standing before the Lord complaining about us, no one is helping them. We were satisfied with our repentance and we forgot our brethren around us.
  •  The blessing is in the baptism, the where the Spirit flutters over the water. It is also the repentance, the tears to cure and the return to living with God… And a lot don’t have a man to throw them in the pool. A lot of times we delay God’s work in our souls because of our selfishness and not caring for others.
  •  Also the time when the others are denied though the Spirit says, “I have no man.” (John 5:8). You find the Lord Jesus standing carrying our illness, and our pains… He is closer than the friend and is nearer than a brother. He is the helper for those in distress… And He is close to those calling on Him. He is standing at the door knocking, during our desperate moment at the fourth watch of the night, after 38 years. He is the hope of the hopeless.

Fourth Sunday of Great Lent | The Samaritan Woman

Written by Fr. Louka Sidarous on . Posted in Fasts and Holy Pascha, Sunday Contemplations

christ_with_the_samaritan_woman_002

But He needed to go through Samaria

His meeting with the Samaritan woman, at the Sychar well, was within the Lord’s mission. It was a laborious journey that took 6 hours to walk and with extreme endurance of the elements, until the sixth hour of the day (12 noon). The Lord endured all of that just for the joy of gaining the subject placed before Him, for the sake of wining the soul of the Samaritan woman.

Therefore, our meeting with Jesus is not accomplished with friendship, or conditional… For Jesus doesn’t abide to conditions, or changes. The meeting is a premeditated and divinely arranged. Our Lord Jesus places this obligation “MUST” for our salvation. As He told Zacchaeus, “For today I must stay at your house.” (Luke 19:5). Jesus came for our salvation. Therefore He must go by us, and nothing in this world should prevent us from meeting with Jesus. Therefore, every time we enter the church we do it to meet Jesus, every time we stand when the Bible is read, and every time we hear His voice, when God deals with us, we confident that these meetings with God were prearranged for us, and they were fulfilled according to Him.

And it was the sixth hour

This is the same time, the Lord was nailed to the cross for the life of the world… There (on the cross) He also met the thief… This is the same time when Phillip met the Ethiopian eunuch. It was the same time when God met Abraham in the past. God meets us at high noon, when we are tested by heat… Here Jesus meets us, and offers us the spring of life, He is willing to give it, if we ask for. But conditionally, we have to acknowledge our sin, the abandonment of the old sack, and the change of all the ways of our life.

The dialog with Jesus

It is not strange to observe that the Lord Jesus is the initiator of the dialog with Samaritan woman, as this is the nature of God in all ages. He is the source of every blessing, the fountain of life giving and the finite gift. We love Him, because He first loved us… He first initiated with His incarnation to lift us towards Him. He first talked to those He called upon to be with Him… The Lord Jesus starts His dialog as if He needs us, “Give Me to drink.” (John 4:7). If we answer His call, then He will give us living water… The Bible didn’t mention that the woman gave Him water to drink, for Jesus doesn’t thirst for water. He thirsts for our souls and for our salvation… For when His disciples returned, and they told Him, “Master eat. He said to them. I have food to eat of which you do not know.” (John 4:31, 32). Therefore He was not thirsty for water, but thirsty for something else, as He said on the cross, “I thirst.” (John 19:28). But when they lifted the hyssop to Him, He didn’t want to drink. He thirsts for the soul of the thief, and He thirsts to fill us… Whoever interacts with Him will quench His thirst and simultaneously takes from His ‘living water’.

The gift of God

The Lord told the Samarian woman, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you…” (John 4:10). The soul in its journey with God is not aware of the gift of God… And, the One who is talking to it… Jesus dawns on the soul to know the extent of the gift, then it says: Master, give me. But first, the soul goes into an earthly comparison and similarities of the gift, “Where then do You get that living water?” (John 4:11). But Jesus lifts our souls to the level of spiritual worship and truth, after He frees the soul from the limits of the letter and old believes.

A dialog about worship

It is strange that the Samaritan woman talks about worship and prostrate, “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” (John 4:20). O, what an evasion and mistake in her sinful life, is she attempting to discuss the faith, the worship and the approach to God. Isn’t that the attitude of many individuals to have, ‘numerous questions, information, inquiries, worship details, discussions, limitations, in their lives’. A lot of souls live with many sins bound to the world, with five husbands, and a life so distant from God. But if the occasion brings them, among spiritual individuals or in a religious setting, they quickly ask a lot of questions, inquires and explanations concerning a discussion about worship and belief in which they are stead fast. But there is a large partition between the talk and living with God. They discuss everything as if they are religious. But they are as it was said, “These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” (Matt.15:8). “Brood of vipers! How can you, being so evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matt.12:34).

The worship with the spirit

Let us notice, that Jesus doesn’t contradict the Samaritan woman during their long discussion and with evasion of words. He directly transfers her to the spiritual worship, not by word or falsehood but in truth. For as long as our lives are stained with sin, then our worship is worthless. It is true what the Lord said, “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer you gift.” (Matt. 5:23, 24). Those worshipers are the ones the Father is asking for. The Father doesn’t rejoice with us because we of what we know or discuss. But He rejoices with the spiritual fruit within us, and the worship of God in the Holy Spirit. There is a large gap between the spirit of Jesus and the spirit of hollow dialog, slander and stupid discussions….

The Christ

The woman said, “I know that Messiah is coming (who is called Christ). When He comes He will tell us all things.” (John 4:25). Then Jesus told her, “I who speak to you am He.” (John 4:26). Here we discover something about the woman. Deep within her, she was searching for the Christ, for she knows that He is coming. She is in a state of waiting and internal observation for the salvation of Israel. O what a marvel, that the depth of the Samaritan woman’s heart was quite different from her exterior appearance. She was observed as a sinful woman drowned in evil. But from within she was waiting for the Christ, the Savior. You can compare her to a very precious stone thrown in the mud of the earth, and mixed with the defile of desire. If handled by a jeweler, he cleanses it, removes the dirt and exposes its precious value. We wish not to question a lot of souls, and judge them according to the neglect that stuck to them, and the dirt that covered their beauty. They brought these souls to Christ to a simple meeting at the well at high noon. Observe when Christ brings forth a preacher in His name, as He brought forth Matthew the apostle from the tax office, Matt.(9:9), and Paul the Apostle on the way to Damascus, Acts (9:3).

The Lord Jesus calls on us to work

Look, even with just a spiritual view, at the souls around you. You will see them as white fields ready for harvest without labor…. Others labor, and we entered accordingly without labor. There are souls that only require a simple word to be gathered in the Father’s bosom. Ripe souls are just waiting, for our hands to do the spiritual work, not to miss the chance to harvest. O, brethren let us do the work of the Lord in His fields, to gather and harvest for the church. Let us collect the fruits of eternal life, to rejoice with those who planted the seed of the Word, in the old and New Testament, and to receive the wages of harvest from the Lord’s hands.

Third Sunday of Great Lent | The Prodigal Son

Written by Fr. Louka Sidarous on . Posted in Spirituality, Sunday Contemplations

biblical_events_prodigal_son_001

All the tax collectors and the sinners approached to listen to Him. So He talked to them using this parable. With this proverb He opened the heavenly gates before the sinners. He revealed the Father’s overwhelming love for our return to Him. He is not pleased by the death of a sinner, but to his return and to live. It is known that our Lord Jesus came to inform us about the Father. Here our blessed Jesus announced the secret of the Father’s thoughts with respect to our return to Him. Here is the rejoicing of the returning from a long trip, from far away countries, and the darkness of death. In the whole Bible, there was no approach towards us sinners, as much as what Jesus reveled in this parable… For Jesus talks like God’s only begotten Son, and revels the acceptance into Himself within the Father. Therefore, without the Son-ship, there is no repentance, no hope, no life and no return to enjoy the bosom of the Father.

Therefore, the baptism, which makes us sons of God, is the foundation of our repentance…Hence, our return to the Father is based on our son-ship towards Him. For, if we were not His sons, how could we return to Him?
The banishment away from the Father.

Let us gather our thoughts and concentrate on the declaration, which our Lord Jesus reveled for us with respect to the Father… This is with respect to the Son, the repentance for the sin, the obedience, and the forgone world’s forgeries… (all of these kindled all our mercies). These are the human expressions concerning and describing Godly matters… We have experienced all these matters, not by words, but by deeds… For who among us haven’t tasted the bitterness of sin and its torment? Who among us was not filled from the husks of the swine? Let us concentrate our thoughts on the compassionate Father.

When his father saw him he was compassionate

These are unspoken words that describe the depth of the persistence, of the Father’s compassion. For the compassionate Father could not withstand seeing me in humility or slavery… And when He sees me approaching Him, in my sinful outfit and defile, He is triumphant in His compassion as He did when Lazarus’ sisters told Him, “Lord, come and see. Jesus wept.” (John 11:34, 35). For my sight is the tomb of my desires and the rotten sent of my sins, this captures the Lord’s compassion and His tears.

He fell on his neck and kissed him

I willingly left you, O Fatherly bosom… I went embracing the world opening my heart to desires… My lips were full with defile and deception … My thoughts from within were to fall in the bosom of joy and happiness. But I was going from one grief to another… I placed my lips on stolen and counter fit water springs, therefore I still thirst… So, my Father give me your kisses, for Your love is sweeter than wine, and your desire is honey in my mouth. Your left arm embraces me… Don’t let me go… Enclose me within Your arms. No one could snatch away whoever is in Your hands… Your right arm is full of power… In Your hands I place my soul.

He fell on his neck

My neck, is the one that fell in the fury of slavery desires, and my head bowed in its residence. The shame of sin and disgrace were upon it… The Father’s love liberates me… His kisses lift my face… O Lord liberate… Free me with love and kisses, and cleanse the defile from my soul.

Bring forth the best robe

My best robe… My pure baptism… My first cleansing… My simple thoughts without sin… My honest infancy, which doesn’t know evil. It is without cunning, deceit or any other defile. Blessed is He who dressed me ine a robe… From all of these the world had deprived me (uncovered me)…I was wearing, the contaminated worldly thoughts. I had on hypocrisy and flattery the worthless talk and the worry of riches. I was different from the worldly children, after I was suited with Jesus, O eternal Fatherly love… Could I return to my first garment (robe) and my original condition? Would my glory return? O what honor, do the sinner and adulterers gain, when they return to the Father… My Lord: how lost I was without the blessed garment and the robe of salvation?… I changed a lot since my baptism… Suit me into my original robe. Truly, repentance is the renewal of baptism, and as the fathers say, ‘It is a second baptism’.

A ring in his hand, and shoes on his feet

The hand is the work, and the feet are the means towards the objective. Both were at a large distance from the Father… For my hands labored for the body, to work to feed the swine. My hand is tired from the work in defile, and here it is returning to God after exhaustion from the grasp of wind. Place in it a ring, a Christ ring, to work for the heavenly… To work for the eternal life… To work for the harvest. Place in it the sanctified ring to work in the Lord’s labor with strength and without exhaustion. Place in it the engagement ring and the unity with God, so that it will not return to work for its own, but for that Who sacrificed Himself for it. The ring in my hand substitutes the nails in the hands of Jesus. How precious and priceless it is. O my soul, don’t return and deviate from the love of the Lord. Don’t return to take off the glorious ring, which is His commandments and words ‘So let the words, which I advise with today be in your heart, and make it a ring in your hand’. But how far have my legs taken me. It was wondering in distant countries. My feet have stumbled through numerous thorns. My feet left my father’s house with shoes on. This resembled the readiness for the peaceful Bible with cleansed feet, with Christ’s hands after the supper, with a word as a lantern before my feet. My feet were strangers in the world. I walked in the valley of death… I dwelt in the destructive path, in cracks, in holes, traps and evil. I lost my shoes. The sole of my feet were tormented. There is no power to move or to reach the kingdom after all. Even after all these, You returned everything to me… O my legs there are roads that seam wonderful, but end in death. O my soul, these shoes are for the rough road, so that you don’t limp when walking towards the Father. My Lord and my God protect my feet from slipping…

Present the fat bull and slaughter it so we can eat and rejoice

The Father’s feast is a sacrifice of joy. It is the sacrifice of joy and the food of eternal life. My soul thought that it could be filled with the worldly food. Therefore the world presented it with a lot of temptations. But it was shielding behind the temptations the swine husks. ‘Why do you weigh silver without bread, and your labor without fullness, listen relentlessly to me, and eat well, and let your souls enjoy the plenty.’ “Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents.” (Luke 15:7). O brethren let us please the Father’s heart with our repentance and our return. We had enough banishment and enough humility, in far away land. Let us enjoy the Father’s bosom and His Son Jesus Christ and the heavenly rejoice.

Donate

To donate to the general fund:

To donate to the social services fund:

Random Photos

IMG_8630.JPGIMG_8632.JPGIMG_8627.JPG
IMG_8631.JPGIMG_8633.JPGIMG_8627-MOTION.gif
IMG_8632-SMILE.jpg

Contact Us

Physical Address:
1600 South Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Mailing Address:
PO Box 351388
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Phone: (310) 275-3050
Fax: (310) 276-6333
support[at]stmarkla.org