Recovering a full Theological vision of the Ascension

on .

And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
—John 12:32
 
Ascension Day is possibly the most forgotten of the great feasts of the Lord. Why? In part because, unlike all the other feasts of the same rank, it can never fall on a Saturday or Sunday. Forty days after Pascha is always a Thursday, and midweek services during the Paschal season are not very popular.
 
Not only is this feast neglected, though, it is often mischaracterized as one of emptiness, a feast of absence and waiting. It is sometimes described, even in sermons and articles, as an “in-between” feast, an awkward nine days in which, while we must sadly give up the triumphant hymns of Pascha, still we are not yet granted the verdant warmth of the Holy Spirit. It’s seen as a corridor joining two spacious and beautiful halls, but itself containing little that is noteworthy, aside from the virtues of patience and hope.
 
To be sure, this is a feast of patience and hope. The hymns in the Pentecostarion bear witness to this, as do the parting words of the Lord to his disciples: “Stay in Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high” (Lk. 24:49). Yet according to the Scriptures, they returned to Jerusalem “with great joy” (ibid., v. 52). Theirs was not the sorrow of abandoned children but the joy of those who knew their master to be exalted and glorified, who saw the resurrection take on a greater fullness than it had had during the forty days since Christ’s arising.
 
Enlightened by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Apostles came to see the Ascension as the key that opens up the mystery of our salvation. They preached and wrote about it constantly. But in the Church today it is referred to rarely if ever throughout the year. We will take the Apostles as our guides as we endeavor to enrich our somewhat meager conception of this great act of redemption.

The life of Archbishop John Maximovitch is an example for everyone

on .

Archbishop John was born Michael Maximovitch in the city of Kharkov in southern Russia in 1896. As a boy he collected religious and historical books, and loved above all to read the Lives of the Saints. Being the oldest child, he had a great influence on his four brothers and one sister, who knew the Lives of the Saints through him.
 
When he was eleven years old Michael was sent to the Poltava Cadet Corps (military academy). When he graduated in 1914, he wished to attend the Kiev Theological Academy. His parents insisted, however, that he attend Law School in Kharkov, and out of obedience to them he put away his own desire and began to prepare for a career in law.
 
It was during his university years that the Orthodox education and outlook which Michael had received in his childhood came to maturity. Young Michael saw the point of this upbringing. He saw that the Lives of the Saints, in particular, contain a profound wisdom which is not seen by those who read them superficially, and that the proper knowledge of the Lives of the Saints is more important than any university course. And so it was, as his classmates noticed, that Michael spent more time reading the Lives of the 

Join us in the Multinational Evening!!

on .

We invite all our English speaking members to join us in the multinational dinner which will take place on Tuesday the 31st of May at 7.15pm at st. Nicholas Church Engomi.  Come to have some spiritual fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ while enjoying our multinational cuisine menu.  If you are interested please sign up by sending a message to 99463030 - fr. Ioannis, specifying what food you will bring with you.  Hope to see you!!

"Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"

Mathew 28:19