by Fr. Dmitri, New Zealand
Saturday 11 April 2009 (3 Paramoude; 3 Baramouda)
Commemoration of the Raising of Lazarus
Vigil of Entry into Jerusalem.
I am the Good Shepherd and the good shepherd
giveth his life for the sheep.
Whoever wishes to understand fully the words of Christ,
must try to pattern his whole life on that of Christ.
(Imitation of Christ)
If we repeat this name (Jesus), the actuality of Jesus
can sink into us, fill us up, and saturate us in such a
way that the word becomes flesh.
We see the Lord when He desires, but we cannot see Him
in His divine essence. He appeared to Abraham because
He wanted to, but unless the human being wants it, the
Lord will not appear to him.
(St.Ambrose of Milan)
Learn quickly, then, to submit yourself to your superior
if you wish to conquer your own flesh.
(Imitation of Christ)
Do what you can and then pray that God will give you
the power to do what you cannot.
Faith cuts a road in the sea and lets water flow from the
rock. It is enough to see the Bible says, "With God all
things are possible."
(HH Pope Shenouda III)
Do not scorn the discourse of the wise, but make yourself
familiar with their maxims, since from these you will learn
the theory and the art of serving the great.
O Christ Our God when thou didst raise Lazarus from the
dead, before Thy Passion, thou didst confirm the Universal
(From Matins on Lazarus Day)
The life that is proper to the Christian Soul as well as the
Christian family is the divine life.
Almighty God, help us to do always those works that lead
to true life. Let us share in the life of the Father, Son and
Holy Spirit on earth, and attain the fulness of that life
forever in heaven.
THE GOOD SHEPHERD.
I am the Good Shepherd and the good shepherd giveth
His life for the sheep.
The imagery of the shepherd is often found in the Old Testament. (Psalm 23;
Ezekiel 34; Zachariah 9;& Jeremiah 23).
The teaching about the Good Shepherd is intended to contrast with the bad
shepherding of the
Pharisees. Eastern sheepfolds had only one door which was guarded by the
Those who entered by any other means were false and described in these
verses both as thieves and robbers and also as aliens.
The focus of attention is on the accessability of the shepherd to the sheep.
Some have seen
an illusion to God or the Holy Spirit. It is the relationship between the
sheep and the shepherd which is especially emphasized. The calling of the
sheep by name and leading them out, is characteristic of a True Shepherd.
No such personal relationship exists between aliens and the flock. Christ is
the door and only through Him are we saved. Others who claimed to be the
door are impostors and more than likely refer to the Jewish leaders of His
day. Look at their treatment of the man born blind, which illustrates what
alien shepherds of God's Flock they were.
The contrast between Jesus and the false shepherds here is vivid. He brings
life; they bring death. They even bought about the death of the Good
Shepherd. But instead of snuffing out
His teaching, it bought about an increase to it and especially after 'Pentecost'.
To Thee be Glory and now, ever unto Ages of Ages.
Morning: Gen.49:1-28; Isa.40:9-31; Zeph.3:14-20; Zach.9:9-15;
Psalm 29:4&12; Gospel Luke 18:35-43.
Liturgy: 1 Cor.2:1-8; 1 Peter 1:25-2:6; Acts 27:38-28:10;
Psalm 128:2&8; Gospel John 11:1-45.
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