“when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Greetings in Christ on the second Sunday of Lent,
On this Sunday we commemorate our Father among the Saints Gregory Palamas. The reason why we remember St. Gregory is described by Fr. Hopko: “The Second Sunday of Lent is the commemoration of Saint Gregory Palamas. It was Saint Gregory (d.1359) who bore living witness that men can become divine through the grace of God in the Holy Spirit; and that even in this life, by prayer and fasting, human beings can become participants of the uncreated light of God’s divine glory.”
The first step to enter into participation in the “uncreated light of God” is through repentance from sin. When we purify ourselves by confessing our sins, then we can through practicing ascetical steps to walk towards the uncreated light. We can experience God here and now on earth once we are purified from any sin.
Fr. LeMaster writes: “Today we commemorate St. Gregory Palamas, a great bishop, monastic, and theologian of the 14th century. He is known especially for defending the experience of hesychast monks who, through deep prayer of the heart and asceticism, were enabled to see the Uncreated Light of God that the Apostles beheld at the Transfiguration of the Lord on Mount Tabor. Against those who denied that human beings could ever experience and know God in such direct and tangible ways, St. Gregory taught that we may truly participate in the divine energies as whole persons. He proclaimed that knowing God does not mean merely having ideas about Him but being united personally with Him by grace. It is to become radiant with the divine glory like an iron left in the fire in ways that permeate a person’s body, soul, and spirit. To share in God’s life is not an escape from the world or our humanity, but instead their glorious fulfillment… The good news, however, is that true personal knowledge of the Lord is available to us all by calling on Him in humility from our hearts. No matter how busy our lives or how noisy the world around us, we may pray the Jesus Prayer in inner silence, even as we fight our passions and reorient our lives to Him through repentance. If we do so, we will open ourselves to His grace as whole persons. We will not abandon or escape the world, but instead know in our own lives the joy of its salvation. Indeed, we will know Him.”
The Troparia of St. Gregory: “O Star of Orthodoxy, support of the Church and its teacher, O comeliness of ascetics, and incontestable champion of those who speak in theology, Gregory the wonderworker, the pride of Thessalonica and preacher of grace, implore thou constantly for the salvation of our souls.”
Services next week: Monday Great Compline, Wednesday Presanctified with Communion, Friday Akathist/Madaih. All services are at 7 PM.
Jesus said: “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – He said to the paralytic – “I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.” There is nothing greater than to have forgiveness for our sins.
~Pastor’s Message of March 28, 2021~