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"We are all witnesses" - challenge and messengership

"We are all witnesses" - challenge and messengership

10 2018 June LJ cover – «Все мы свидетели» - вызов и посланничество
Tags: Religion, Christianity

"We are all witnesses," to what extent do each of us become a witness, that is, becomes a martyr and sympathizer of Christ, in the same way we must be ready to share the sufferings of our neighbor, because only then can we become His true disciples.

After His resurrection, the Lord Jesus returned and stood in the closed doors to the eyes of His disciples. He brings three gifts to the apostles, and in return they take the lot of service and apostleship. What are these three Sunday gifts and what is the mess that accompanies them?

The first gift is the gift of the World: "Jesus came, and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you" (John 20: 19). Peace is the way: not the absence of temptation and struggle - this will happen until the end of our days - but the absence of the twilight of consciousness, perplexity and uncertainty, instantly paralyzing a person. This was the position of the students. Seeing the Lord crucified on the Cross, they experienced deep disappointment and fled like lost sheep without a shepherd. They did not know what they had to do in the future. But now, when they met with the risen Savior, peace reigned in their souls. They realize their purpose, they know where they are going.

The second gift is the gift of exultation: "The disciples were glad to see the Lord" (John 20: 20). Disappointment gave way to glee. Dotole devastated, drooping with fear, hiding behind closed doors, the disciples immediately recovered, inspired by the great triumph.

The third gift, the most important of all, is the gift of the Holy Spirit: "Having said this, he blew, and says to them:" Receive the Holy Spirit "(John 20: 22). Foreseeing the full revelation on the day of Pentecost, the risen Christ prefigured the apostles for the Spirit of the Spirit. This can be seen as the fulfillment of the goal of the Incarnation: as the holy fathers testify, the Word became flesh so that we could receive the Holy Spirit. And as Vladimir Lossky says: "The presence of the Holy Spirit in each of us is the basis of all Christian life."

This is the threefold gift of the Resurrection of Christ: peace, rejoicing and the Holy Spirit. But the gifts exist to share them with others in order to be useful, to serve for the benefit of other people, so a three-fold gift carries simultaneously the nature of a call and messengership. "As the Father has sent Me, so I send you" (John 20: 21). The peace, joy and grace of the Holy Spirit are part of the apostles' mission. They must continue the work of Christ in time and space, spread His message of forgiveness to the desperate and tormented of this world. They were strengthened by the Holy Spirit in order to say: "We are all witnesses" (Acts 2: 32).

But having given three gifts and placing on the apostles the fulfillment of a great duty, the Lord did something else: "He showed them his hands (and his legs) and his ribs" (John 20: 20). Why? There is no doubt that He does this so that they will know Him in order to convince them that He who appeared to them is Himself. He rose from the dead in the carnal Body that was unspeakably affected on the Cross. Of course, behind all this lies a deeper meaning. If the Savior showed them the five wounds of His Passion that had not yet healed on His Body, He did it to make it clear to them that there is only one way to fulfill the apostolic ministry assigned to them. This adherence to Him along the way of the Cross, sharing with Him His self-sacrifice, the apostles themselves must suffer the passionate wounds of the Lord Jesus. "We are all witnesses," to what extent do each of us become a witness, that is, becomes a martyr and sympathizer of Christ, in the same way we must be ready to share the sufferings of our neighbor, because only then can we become His true disciples.

On the windows of the funeral bureau, the inscriptions: "We accept orders for wreaths and crosses". In fact, the question of choosing between the two should not be at all: we can not wear the crown of the victory of the resurrection unless we are ready to raise with His Cross His Cross. In the Middle Ages, "Easter Tombs", ie, the paraphernalia that decorated the English churches for each Easter, had the following inscription: "The sufferer is victorious!" This happened to our Savior, this must happen to us. Let us find on our body the wounds of the crucified Lord and share the peace and joy of Christ's Resurrection with the help of the Holy Spirit!

The Metropolitan of Diocletian Callistus (Ware)
Russian Athos
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