Sunday, March 5, 2017

Icons Confirm the Truth

Today is the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the day the Church commemorates the restoration of Holy Icons in the Church following many years of inner struggle and all-out battle. Funny thing about Icons is they tell the truth which cannot be ignored.

If you consider the numerous paintings and etchings from the ancient world, there is some sort of graphic of every major historical figure. There are paintings of Caesars, Tuts, European Kings...museums throughout the world are filled with historical evidence that such leaders actually lived. So I imagine that if there had never been a single Icon of Jesus Christ, by now someone would have asked, “If this Jesus you speak about was real, then why hasn’t someone painted a picture of Him?” They might ask, “How can someone who has affected so many not have at least one picture or statue made about him?”

The insistence of the Orthodox Church on the importance of Holy Icons is just this verification of the truth that God became a human in the flesh. We cannot depict the Father or the Holy Spirit, but we have seen the Son and He should be depicted. Without this physical proof, our faith would just be another myth of the world. So today my dear fans is the victory of the truth of God’s incarnation. Don’t forget to bring your icon to Church there’s going to be a procession today.

Here are today’s readings...
Epistle Reading: St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 11:24-26, 32-40 (RSV) - Brethren, by faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. And what more shall I say?  For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets -- who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign enemies to flight.  Women received their dead by resurrection.  Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life.  Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated -- of whom the world was not worthy -- wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Gospel Reading: John 1:43-51 (RSV) - At that time, Jesus decided to go to Galilee.  And he found Philip and said to him, "Follow me."  Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.  Philip found Nathanael, and he said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."  Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"  Philip said to him, "Come and see."  Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!"  Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?"  Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."  Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the son of God!  You are the King of Israel!"  Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe?  You shall see greater things than these."  And he said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man."

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