Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blessed are Those who hear the word of God and keep it!

Sometimes, it isn’t the words we hear which become the lesson from the Lord, but what we do with those words. September 8th EVERY year is the commemoration of the Nativity of the Theotokos, one of the Great Feasts of the Church. In fact, it is the first great feast of the New Year which should set the tone for our annual spiritual journey. During this Feast, we normally hear the Gospel lesson of “Martha and Mary” found in the Gospel According to Luke, (Luke 10.38-41, 11.27-28) in which Jesus direct our attention TWICE to the hearing of the Word of God.

Today, tough, is different in the Church calendar, because it is also the Sunday before the Feast of the Cross, the second Great Feast of the Church celebrated on September 14th. On this day the Church prescribes the Gospel According to John, in which we hear the most quoted passage of Scripture, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3.16)

It isn’t by chance the readings are established in this way. On the Feast of the Theotokos, Jesus reminds us that while honoring His Mother is good, it is more blessed to hear His word and keep it. The truth of the Cross of Christ, and it’s life-giving reality in the salvation of the entire world, must never be passed over. “For God did not come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3.17)

What is the Word we hear? “He who believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3.15) Now you have heard the Word; it’s time to begin keeping it!

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