MARCH 9, 2014 -
"A DAY TO CONTEMPLATE OUR FAITH"
We live in a time of tremendous change. Life today is vastly different from what it was a hundred years ago.
But in all this world of change, we are reminded today of two things that DO NOT change - OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST AND OUR CHURCH.
On this first Sunday of Great Lent, we proclaim to the world of change that we hold the changeless Christian Faith.
This day has a historical basis. Centuries ago a dispute arose in the Church over the place of icons in the faith. The glory of the Eastern Church is the use of these images that not only provide a religious and mystical feeling in an edifice, but are also visual aids - commentaries on sacred history, utilized as channels of communion with the Lord.
In the eighth century, an attempt was made to remove icons from churches. When the matter was finally resolved,
THE FIRST SUNDAY OF THE GREAT LENT WAS DESIGNATED AS A DAY FOR THE PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUE FAITH. And so today the faithful of various parishes come together for worship,
for procession with icons and for public witness to the ancient Faith of Christ, triumphant over all heresies.
Since we live in a land of many religions, it is vital that testimony be given of the spiritual treasury we hold: The Faith of ancient Christianity, the Faith of the Apostles, the Faith of the Ecumenical Councils, the Faith of the Early Church Fathers, the Faith of the Mother Church of Christendom. As we appreciate our religious heritage today, let us rededicate ourselves to live the Christian Faith in the future.