Thursday, September 20, 2012

Keeping the 
Great Commandment

Whom do we see when we look
into the face of another?

Our world is polarized in ways not seen in many generations. This polarization is bought closer to home because we now live in a nation that is far more cosmopolitan than in the past. Even small towns across our country are now home to people from Africa, India, Pakistan, Mexico and China, to name but a few. We have communities of Sikhs with their colorful turbans, and Muslim women wearing their hijab, living among us. Our children attend schools with students who are members of religions that are relatively new to American shores, and the racial makeup of our country is changing.

This is certainly not the first wave of immigrants coming to make a new life for themselves on American shores. Past generations of Italians, Germans, Norwegians, Irish and Welsh, made American their home, and in doing so infused a wonderful blend of diversity, culture, food, and religion into society that greatly enhanced our nation, and contributed to making America the great nation that she are today.

That we sometimes resisted the influx of peoples from foreign shores can not be denied, and discrimination suffered by these "foreigners" is a disgraceful part of our common history. Now that we are witnessing increased conflict in the Middle East, and attacks on our troops coming from within the ranks of supposed allies, we are tempted to look toward many of the new immigrants with suspicion, or even fear. As Christians we must make sure the present strife in our world does not become the vehicle for the virus of hate to enter our hearts.

We can not let our revulsion of Islamic violence in the Middle East become the corner stone for internment camps in the United States. The mass expulsion of Japanese Americans from our farming communities, towns and cities on the West Coast, into such internment camps, must never be repeated again.

Nowhere in our Christian Scriptures does it suggest we must avenge our God against anyone who would insult the Holy Trinity. Nowhere does it say that anyone who has defiled our Bible, or insulted the Holy Name of Jesus, should be murdered. Nowhere in our Bible are we, as Christians, given a directive to mass in our streets with anger, and murder innocent people for any perceived insult to our Saviour, Jesus Christ. That peoples of another faith are told by their religious leaders that they must do such things, in no way can be seen as a directive for our behavior.

The most difficult commandment Christ gave to His disciples was surely the one that we must love our enemies. If we translate that directive into the simple task of being nice to the crabby old man next door, we will have missed the point. Jesus said, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matthew 5:44)."
Easy? No. Possible? Yes! "And Jesus looking upon them said, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27)."

Whom do we see when we look into the face of another? It is Christ! It is either Christ glorified, or Christ crucified. That we have all been created in the image and likeness of God, means that we are all His children, and therefore brothers and sisters to one another. That some of our brothers and sisters have chosen to be our enemies does in no way lessen the truth that we are all the children of Eve, charged by Christ to love each other. If we be of Christ, we must follow His commandments.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Thursday September 20, 2012 / September 7, 2012
16th Week after Pentecost. Tone six.
Forefeast of the Nativity of the Theotokos.
Martyr Sozon of Cilicia (304).
St. John, archbishop and wonderworker of Novgorod (1186).
Martyrdom of St. Macarius, archimandrite of Kanev (1678).
Venerable Macarius of Optina (1860).
New Hieromartyrs Peter and Michael priests, Alexander diacon (1918).
New Hieromartyr Priest John Maslovsky of Verkhne-Poltavka, Amur (1921).
New Hieromartyrs Eugine metropolitan of Gorky, Stephan priest and Hieromartyrs Eugine, Nicholas and Pakhomius, New Hieromartyrs Gregory, Basil priests, Hieromartyr Leo (1937).
Venerables Alexander Peresvet and Andrew Osliaby (1380).
Venerable Serapion of Spaso-Eleazar Monastery in Pskov (1480).
Apostles Evodus (Euodias) (66) and Onesiphorus (67) of the Seventy.
Martyr Eupsychius of Caesarea in Cappadocia (2nd c.).
Venerable Luke and St. Peter the Cappadocian, abbots of the monastery of the Deep Stream (10th c.).
St. Cassia (Cassiane) the Hymnographer (9th c.).
Venerable Cloud (Clodoald), abbot-founder of Nogent-sur-Seine near Paris (560) (Gaul).

You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.

THANK YOU, to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

Ephesians 1:7-17

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom

15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

Mark 8:1-10

Feeding the Four Thousand

8 In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.”
Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?”
He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?”
And they said, “Seven.”
So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them. So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments. Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away, 10 immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

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