20160526_christsinai_sqChrist is Risen! Truly He is Risen! Let us glorify our Lord and Christ! In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Dear beloved, let us remember St George the Confessor of Constantinople. May St George pray for us.

We are Orthodox Christians. Veneration of icons is part of our faith, as we remember the holy saints and angels before us, who glorify our God together, and allow us to also fortify and build our faith upon God’s Grace through many of these saints who walked before us, martyred in faith, as perfect examples for our own journeys and pilgrimage to God.

The Holy Confessor St George of Constantinople did the same. He was a fierce defender of Orthodoxy, and as such, venerated icons. He also lived fully and honestly according to his faith, rather than bend for the sake of worldly reputation or wealth. The iconoclast emperor Theophilos commanded St George to renounce his faith and the veneration of icons, which the saint refused. The emperor seized the property of the saint, tortured and jailed the saint. After that, St George was cast away in exile with his wife Irene and their children. The saint reposed in exile after much suffering. As we reflect upon Proverbs 22:1-5, let us remember that a good name and leaning upon God are more important than wealth.

To some people, the perpetual complaint is that other people possess more wealth than them, and they grieve that they do not have enough.

However, as we reflect upon Proverbs 22:1-5, Deuteronomy 10:17-19 and also Acts 10:34-43, let us spur ourselves forward in all our journeys, that our God is impartial, and does not favor the rich and powerful more than the poor and the weak. God fortifies us according to His Divine Will and Grace in unique ways for each of us, and each of us is a precious child in His impartial and loving eyes. We may be rich or poor, powerful or weak, old or young, male or female, abled or disabled, and He will love us exactly the same. Therefore, do not worry about the mundane and the material, but concern yourselves about growing closer to God.

In our faith, let us always remember our Lord Jesus Christ is the center of our faith, just as He told the Pharisees in St John 8:12-20. Let us always remember that our Christ is our light of life to illuminate and burn through all distractions, all temptations, all obstacles, all darkness, and all blindness. And our relationship with our Father in Heaven, as Christ taught us, will be through Him, as our Father in Heaven sent Christ to us.

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”.

Let us close by praying the thanksgiving prayer:

It is truly meet to call thee blest, the Theotokos, ever blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption thou gavest birth to God the Word: True Theotokos, we magnify thee.

O virgin Theotokos, rejoice; O Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr Raphael+

Readings
Deuteronomy 10:17-19
Proverbs 22:1-5
John 8:12-20
Acts 10:34-43