Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Question from God

Question from God?
If God were to ask one question of you, what would it be?

Mary answered the angel "behold the hand maiden of the Lord..." Fr. John Brian indicates that this is the answer to the main question that God asks of us: Whom do you serve? In this sermon for annunciation, Fr. John Brian explains that it is also: Whom do you love?

Then Fr John Brian focuses on Chapter 4 of John's First Epistle which is an extension of the designated portion for the day and is important for our developing spirituality.

An excerpt was read during the sermon from: COMMON DECLARATION BY THE HEADS OF THE ORIENTAL ORTHODOX CHURCHES ~ THE MEETING OF THE HEADS OF THE ORIENTAL ORTHODOX CHURCHES ~ Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate- Cairo, Egypt ~ 14 November 2011

"... the Churches of the Oriental Orthodox Family are united in faith, theology, doctrine, tradition and spirituality. This strong bond of unity has sustained this Family and became a source of spiritual strength, missionary outreach and social action in spite of tremendous challenges and crisis which surrounded these Churches in the course of their long history. The unity of faith of our Family is grounded on Apostolic Tradition and the teachings of the first three Ecumenical Councils ... It is vitally important that we re-affirm and re-strengthen our unity, and re-invigorate our Christian witness. In a world which is constantly threatened by secularistic and materialistic ideologies and different sort of heresies which may jeopardize the integrity, identity and unity of our faith, therefore, re-organizing and re-revitalizing our intra-family collaboration is of decisive importance. The Oriental Orthodox Family has a long and rich history. Its relevance needs to be re-affirmed and its common witness to be re-activated in those regions and countries where the faithful of our Churches have organized their church and community life. ... We appeal to our faithful to remain firm in their Christian faith and participate fully in the witness of our Churches. May God lead our Churches in faithfulness to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ." (The letter is signed by Pope Shenouda III, Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I, Catholicos Aram I, and Patriarch Abuna Paulos.)

"In God there is nothing quantitative. Love, insofar as it is the divine essence, is an absolute. There is within it neither more nor less. God simply loves. That is all. God gives himself." Fr. Lev Gillet, Monk of the Eastern Church - The Burning Bush

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Malankara calendar and was given on Sunday, November 20, 2011 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

"Called to Divine Nature" is the theme of an open and free mini-retreat in Madison, January 21, 2012 hosted by Holy Transfiguration Mission. Pre-registration by email or voicemail by January 8 is encouraged.

PODCAST OR DOWNLOAD: http://feeds.feedburner.com/frjohnbrian or

No comments: