For many are called, but few are chosen’
The Gospel parable for the 14th Sunday of Matthew presents the mystery of the Kingdom of God and our attitude towards the saving challenge of the love of God.
A king invited friends and acquaintances to a wedding, but they didn’t respond to his invitation. They had many and varied excuses: lack of interest and the cares of life.
But God’s always inviting us into His communion, His body, His salvation. This invitation transcends place and time, in other words it’s eternal and general. Our response to God’s call isn’t an obligation, nor is it coercion or subjugation. It’s an expression of our love for God, submission in freedom to His holy will. It’s precisely this intention of ours that we express when we attend church.
Have you ever noticed the ways we mark the passage of time in our lives? Since my “day job” is in a university, I usually think in terms of semesters and academic years. Many of us may look back to “the good old days” when we remember life being better or look ahead to a time when we are done with school or able to retire. Perhaps family life was better or worse for us in the past or the economy or the world situation was more or less to our liking. One way or another, we will find a way to make sense of how our lives fit into a larger scheme of time.
Jesus Christ began His ministry by announcing that a new phase of time had begun. No, He was not talking about a new season of the year or the rule of a new emperor. Instead, the Lord proclaimed that He Himself is the fulfillment of all the hopes and d
In the Orthodox Church, Holy Communion is administered to communicants using a special spoon. Some have asked, doesn’t the 101st canon of the Council of Trullo forbid the use of Communion spoons? And why are the laity not allowed to receive Communion in the hand and from the chalice, as they did at the time of the Ecumenical Councils? Fr. John Whiteford answers these questions about the use of Communion spoons in our Orthodox Liturgy.
The canon in question has nothing to do with Communion spoons. It addressed the practice of some people who, rather than receive Communion in the hand, as was the practice at that time, would make vessels of their own, and would receive Communion in these vessels, thinking it was more pious than to receive it in the hand. Some may also have used these vessels to take some of the Eucharist to their homes. This practice was specifically prohibited by that canon:
“The divine Apostle loudly proclaims the man created in the image of God to be a body of Christ and a temple. Standing therefore, far above all sensible creation, and having attained to a heavenly dignity by virtue of the saving Passion, by eating and drinking Christ as a source of life, he perpetually readjusts both his eternal soul and his body and by partaking of the divine grace he is continually sanctified. So that if anyone should wish to partake of the immaculate body during the time of a Synaxis, and to become one therewith by virtue of transessence, let him form his hands into the shape of a cross, an