2006, Articles, Raiati

Sunday’s Liturgy / 04.06.2006

You are invited not to be moody in the issue of the Liturgy. You might not understand everything that is going on in Church on a Sunday morning. You might not be aware of all the meanings. This subject could be studied in books that explain the Divine Liturgy or by asking a discerning priest. If you started to love the Divine service and it was sweet for you, you won’t get tired, and as much as your understanding increases, your tiredness decreases and your boredom disappears.

If your encounter with Christ was weak, the liturgy is where this encounter is strengthened. You might tell me that you pray at home, but the greatest encounter that the Lord wants is the one that he invited you to by saying to all generations including you: Take, eat, this is my body, and drink of it, this is my blood. He also said: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them”. Many other words such as these also show us that we do not live a great life unless we took part in this divine table that is prepared in front of us every Sunday morning.

Do not say: The Liturgy is long. Without taking the Matins into consideration, The Liturgy starts with “Blessed is the kingdom of the Father…”. And if the Priest and chanter knew how not to prolong the chanting a lot, the Liturgy must end in one hour. You do not get tired because of the elongation; you might get tired because of boredom which could be removed by studying and awareness.

In addition to your encounter with Christ, there is a meeting with the brothers that become one entity on Sunday by accepting the Divine Sacraments. Concerning this, Paul said: “Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf” (1Corinthians 10: 17). This is an occasion to forgive whoever sinned to you and ask for forgiveness and grow in purity and be strengthened in front of distresses and difficulties.

You might find around you people that are not great in piety, and you might not like the priest. Your relationship is with Christ and you take communion from His hands. It appears that the priest gives you communion, but actually it is the Lord who gives you his honorable body and blood.

And if you were lazy in reading the Gospel, you would hear it in Church and it might have a big influence on you and raise you up and make a radical change in you. You might have heard a lot of chants, but one chanted phrase might enter your heart for this first time. You heart might be moved with two or three words and you become a new man. Do not escape from becoming a spiritual person. You might have never dreamt of this and you wanted yourself average in virtue. You might become a great spiritual person through paying deep attention to Christ which you haven’t done in the past. Are you afraid from becoming a saint?

Why don’t you throw yourself in Jesus’ bosom as the beloved disciple did in the Mystical Supper? If He wants to make you closer to him through this method, why do you hesitate and convince yourself that you have other methods to get closer to him?

If you were a seasonal believer such as some people, try to come regularly to Divine Services for several weeks and you will see that you have become a lover for God’s Word and you will have eagerness to take the beloved body and blood and you would feel His love to you which will increase the level of your love to Him. If you didn’t come to Jesus, you would be leaving Him alone. He wants everyone to be His beloved ones. He doesn’t want them to sleep in laziness and create a religion for themselves in their imagination. He told us what we should do to be his communicants. Didn’t you say few times in your childhood: “Of your Mystical Supper, O son of God, receive me today”? Go to your Church and say it again.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “قداس الأحد” –Raiati 23 – 04.06.2006

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