The blog is going on a hiatus (vacation) and will return. Keep the faith!
It seems that in our time, every holiday dealing with those who served in the military is treated like Veterans Day. Memorial Day is different in that it honors those veterans who answered the call to service by giving their lives. So, let us pray for the souls of those who died in service to our country.
As a deacon, St. Athanasius attended the Council of Nicea. He was the champion of Orthodoxy at the Council speaking out about the consubstantiality of the Son and the Father. Arius had started a heresy named after himself, “Arianism”, that denied the divinity of Christ. He said that Christ was a creature created by the Father. Athanasius argument won the day; however, he was persecuted throughout his life for this stance by those in power who sided with the heresy. He is also known for writing the definitive biography of St. Anthony of the Desert.
Abraham is mentioned in both readings for today. Pres. Jimmy Carter, a Christian, hosted Anwar Sadat, a Muslim, and Menachim Begin, a Jew, at Camp David. All three men claimed Abraham as their common father in the faith. Muslims through Ishmael and Jews and Christians through Abraham’s other son, Isaac. Thus, we should be treating each other as brothers of a common father not as rivals. What is your personal attitude toward Muslims and Jews? Do you see them as brothers or rivals?
In the “Adventures of Alice in Wonderland,” The King tells the Queen, “the horror of that moment I shall never forget.” To which the Queen replies, “You will though, if you don’t make a memorandum of it.” Moses warns the people not to forget what God has done for them. How do we keep God’s many blessings from slipping our minds? “God gave us memory so that we can have roses in December.” (James Matthew Barrie)
The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord challenges us to renew our own dedication to the redemption of the world. As we recommit ourselves to the work of redemption, we pray that we, like Jesus, may grow in strength and wisdom. It is also World Day for Consecrated Life “to help the entire Church to esteem ever more greatly the witness of those persons who have chosen to follow Christ by means of the practice of the evangelical counsels.” (St. John Paul II, 1997)
We hear how Saul became the first King of Israel. He stood a foot taller than anyone else; he was handsome; he, at first, was victorious; he seemed blessed by God in every way. Yet, he would wind up being a failure. He seemed destined for greatness. But, he failed in being obedient to God’s commands.