Bethlehem

Tenth Day of Christmas Advent: Bethlehem Prepare! »

November 24th, 2014    Posted in Daily Meditations

The Church’s exhortation to get ready for Christmas is conveyed in poetic language. Our hymns command Bethlehem to prepare and make ready for the Nativity of our Lord: Behold, the time of our salvation has drawn near: O Cave, make ready! The Virgin is drawing near to give birth. O Bethlehem, land of Judah, be glad and rejoice, for from you our Lord has dawned. Listen, mountains and hills, and […]

The Post-Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos: Remembering Saints Joachim and Anna »

September 9th, 2014    Posted in Daily Meditations

Coming as it does right after the beginning of the Church New Year, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos on September 8 allows us a good start that we further hope we can sustain as the liturgical year unfolds before us.  As a straightforward and joyous feast of commemorating the birth of the Virgin Mary, we receive a “taste” of the joyousness of […]

Sixth Thursday after Pascha: Holy Ascension Thursday »

May 29th, 2014    Posted in Daily Meditations

The Ascension and the Glorification of Man (Part I) By Father Lawrence Farley In contemporary Orthodoxy, we are accustomed to referring to Christ as one of the Holy Trinity. He is usually referred to as “Christ our true God”, and the Gospel of John, which stresses His divine status, is, I would suggest, our favourite of the four Gospels. When announcing the reading from (say) Matthew’s Gospel, the deacon says, […]

The Sixth Day of Christmas: Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh »

December 30th, 2013    Posted in Daily Meditations

The adoration of Jesus by the wise men from the East is part of the Nativity celebration in the Orthodox Church.l Whatever the actual historical circumstances of the event—and Orthodox tradition takes them quite literally—the spiritual and theological significance of the coming of the kings with their gifts of paramount importance. We have already seen how the Church emphasizes the fact that the entire order of nature participates in the […]

Twenty-Sixth Day of Christmas Advent: The Tree of Life Blossoms »

December 10th, 2013    Posted in Daily Meditations

In the hymns for the prefeast of Christ’s Nativity, Jesus’ birth heralds a return to paradise. The Messiah is born and the gates of Eden are opened. The Savior comes and the tree of life blossoms. Paradise is not a place on the map. It is a condition of spirit. When a person knows God and lives in communion with Him, this is paradise. When a person does not know […]