by Fr. Dmitri, New Zealand
Saturday 8 January 2011 (30 Koiahk; 30 Kiahk)
2nd Day of the Nativity; St. Jarlath of Tuam.
But let your communication be, yea when you mean yea; Nay,
when you mean nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
Bow down thine ear O Lord, and hear me.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt amoung us, and we
beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the
Father, full of grace and truth.
When they saw the Star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
They saw the yound child with Mary His mother, and fell down
and worshiped Him. And when they opened their treasures,
they presented gifts to Him, Gold,Frankincense and Myrrh.
The love of continual prostration before God is prayer is the
sign of the death of one's spirit to the world and of its perception
of the mystery of the new life with God.
(The Spiritual Elder)
Because the spirit of the Lord has filled the world, and that
which holds all things together knows what is said.
Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.
If you want your prayer to fly up high to God, give it two wings:
Fasting and Giving.
The one in whose soul and bones the love of Christ has been
extended, cannot bear the unclean and vile passion.
(The Spiritual Elder)
The Jesus Prayer supports the poor in spirit,
and strengthens the endeavours of the weak.
We must have such great love for the Truth, that our words
will take on the character of oaths.
Lord Jesus, You are the Truth. Grant us a great love for all
truth. Let us devote our lives to it and speak nothing but
the truth at all times.
You have heard that it hath been said; An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. (Matt. 5:38)
The above quote comes from Deut. 19:21. The preceding verses 16-20 deals with False Witnessing, so here is a new law concerning retaliation which follows on that concerning swearing. Though the original purpose of 'Lex Talionis' was perhaps to restrict rather than to inculcate revenge, the Shammiite School of interpretation insisted upon its literal enforcement.
The legalistic basis of 'tit for tat' which must provide a general framework for society, must also yield within the kingdom to the principle of grace. Jesus carries the principle further in denouncing retaliation or revenge. In Luke 6 we are told that if a man strikes you, offer him the other cheek also. But this does not mean you should not defend another person. Go the extra distance and not seek restitution.
The obligation to give is one to which the disciple is open with out limitation, though there is no command to give precisely what is asked for. The Law commanded love thy neighbour. But they had great difficulty in identifying who was your neighbour. But alas many extended this as hatred for those who were not righteous, bit like the Pharisees.
In Exodus 23:4, it was provided that one should be kind to your enemy. Persecutors are the most difficult enemy to love. However prayer is an essential step towards loving them. It all depends on whether we have a family relationship with God. He does not discriminate in the bestowing of His many Blessings. So likewise we should not be unmerciful and give praise where praise is due and reward when one is deserving of a reward.
It is more Blessed to give than to receive. Give yourself whole heartedly to the Work of the Kingdom and turn aside wrath. That is for God to mete out on the Great Day of the Lord. To Thee be glory and praise, now and ever, unto Ages of Ages.
Evening: Psalm 71:1-2; Gospel: Matt. 12:15-23.
Morning: Psalm 71:11; Gospel: Matt.22:41-46.
Liturgy: Gal.4:19-5:1; 1 John 4:15-5:4; Acts 13:36-43;
Psalm 71:17-18; Gospel: John 1:1-13.
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