Reflection of the Sunday after Theophany

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By St. Theophan the Recluse
Yesterday the Apostle armed the Christian who sets out upon the path of salvation with
the whole spiritual armor. Now he shows who the leaders are in this battle procession,
and what is the final bright goal of all for our inspiration in times of hardship. The leaders
are pastors and teachers, whom the Lord gave to the Church and through whose mouth
He Himself utters guiding direction needful for all, as soon as one turns to such leaders
with faith and prayerful appeal to the Lord. Those who selflessly walk the Lord’s path
know this truth, as do those who lead a struggle with the enemies of salvation without pity
for themselves. In their pastors they always find help and are brought to understanding,
when, looking from the outside, such help could not be anticipated. For they do not come
to men, but to the Lord, who is always prepared to direct and give understanding through
such men, to anyone who sincerely and with faith seeks help from Him. The final bright
goal is the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ—the stature of a perfect man
(Eph. 4:13). We all know what a perfect man is in the usual order of things, and we could
hardly find a person who would not wish to attain such perfection. But the meaning of a
perfect man in the Lord is something not known to anyone other than those who have
entered into that stature. This, however, should not cool one’s fervor for the attainment of
such a stature, but on the contrary should kindle it even more; for this lack of knowledge
is due to the height of that spiritual perfection which is called a manly stature in a life
according to God. The Apostle defined this as the taking on of the fullness of perfections
revealed in the Lord and Savior. Anyone can see that there is reason for us to apply all
diligence (II Pet. 1:5) toward our calling.

"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