Pascha – Joy and Light!

‘May we glorify Your mighty acts, your unspeakable plan of salvation for our sake’. (From the Matins Service of the Sixth Friday of Lent). Pascha is a time of joy and light, because when we celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection, we anticipate the immortality of our own soul and the resurrection of our own body. In the final week prior to Pascha, we are led step by step through the events that led to our Lord’s Crucifixion, and we are filled with so much awe at what our Saviour suffered for the sake of our salvation. During the services, we witness [...]

By |2016-10-14T14:50:03+11:00June 7th, 2015|Comments Off on Pascha – Joy and Light!

The Passover

The Passover On Holy Tuesday morning, we hear in the reading from the Gospel according to St Matthew: ‘Now Jesus said to His disciples, “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified” (Mat 26:2). What is the significance of Christ suffering His Passion during the great Jewish festival of the Passover? St John Chrysostom explains how the remembrance of the Passover, and the deliverance of the Israelites from Pharaoh and the Egyptians, is an ancient type which was fulfilled in the Crucifixion of Christ. Christ reminds His [...]

By |2015-12-08T16:03:49+11:00May 8th, 2015|Comments Off on The Passover

Contemplating the Icon of the Nativity

It is said that icons are a pictorial representation of Scripture, where iconographers utilise not only geometry and colour, but also symbolism, theology and perspective. This is true for the icon of the Nativity of Christ where the mystery of the Incarnation, which was hidden from before time, is now revealed to all through its contemplation. Isaiah states that “the ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, my people do not consider” (Isaiah 1:3). Here the least intelligent of domesticated animals show wise instinct to recognise the Saviour, whereas Israel did not [...]

By |2016-10-14T14:50:10+11:00March 7th, 2015|Comments Off on Contemplating the Icon of the Nativity

Christmas . . . Xmas . . . ✗!

Christmas . . .  Xmas . . .  ✗!   In the past, perhaps up to the generation previous to ours, Christmas was celebrated with a significant insight into its meaning: that is, we commemorated the birth of Jesus Christ. As a result, the day had a considerable religious significance with corresponding relevant expressions of Church events, carol singing, exuberant Christmas decorations, giving to the poor and the needy, and real expressions of goodwill to one another. That was then. . .  when people celebrated Christmas more or less meaningfully. But things changed, somehow with rapidity. Our "Western" civilisation, discovered [...]

By |2016-10-14T14:50:10+11:00March 7th, 2015|Comments Off on Christmas . . . Xmas . . . ✗!

The Greatest Gift

‘He took my body. He offers me His Spirit. He gives me the treasure of eternal life, taking but also giving: He takes my body so that He may sanctify it, He gives me His Spirit so that He may save me.’ (St John Chrysostom, Homily on the Birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ). Christmas has come to be synonymous with gifts, but St John Chrysostom’s above words, delivered to his congregation at a Christmas service in Antioch in the fourth century A.D., remind us about the greatest divine gift of all. Christmas, the Incarnation of our Lord is God’s [...]

By |2016-10-14T14:50:10+11:00March 7th, 2015|Comments Off on The Greatest Gift