Thursday, April 15, 2010

St Gregory Palamas on the Lord's Day, Pt 2

Dear Parish Faithful,


Pascha - The Twelfth Day

St. Gregory Palamas continues (from the same homily from yesterday) to reveal the deeper meaning of the Lord's Day - Sunday - and its relationship to the Resurrection of Christ:

You will understand how much better Sunday is than other feastdays from what follows. Every other festival comes round once a year, but the Lord's Day comes round four times each month, and this frequent recurrence makes the whole year a year of true remission for us, a year acceptable to the Lord (cf. Isa. 61:2). It was in order to teach us to celebrate it in practice at the end of each week that the Lord first appeared to the disciples inside the house while Thomas was absent (Jn. 20:19-24). He proved He was alive and gave them peace. By His breathing upon them He renewed the divine breath given in the beginning (Gen. 2:7), and endowed them with the grace of the Holy Spirit, imbuing them with divine power to bind and loose sins. He made them sharers in the exercise of His heavenly lordship, saying to them, "receive ye the Holy Spirit: Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whoseover sins ye retain, they are retained" (Jn. 20:22-23).

The Lord granted them this power and grace when He appeared to them on the very day of His resurrection, obviously a Sunday. Then, letting the intervening days of the week elapse, He appeared in the same manner and in the same house, on the eighth day, the Sunday we celebrate today, to inaugurate His festival and to bring the hesitant Thomas to faith. According to the Savior's beloved evangelist and disciple, "After eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas was with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you" (JN 20:26).

You will see that it was Sunday when the disciples assembled and the Lord came to them. On Sunday He approached them for the first time as they wer gathered together, and eight days later, when Sunday came round again, He appeared to their assembly. Christ's Church continually reflects these gatherings by holding its meetings mostly on Sundays, and we come among you and preach what pertains to salvation and lead you towards piety and a godly way of life.

St. Gregory Palamas (+1359) - Homily on the Sabbath and the Lord's Day

Fr. Steven

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