The relevance of the Sunday of Orthodoxy for the present day

What the Triumph of Orthodoxy means in our days

What the Triumph of Orthodoxy means in our days

The first week of the Great Lent is over, and hopefully, we have all changed a bit. There are sparkles in our eyes. We have begun to pay attention to people's eyes and faces. We have become more understanding of others.

God and His beauty are present in us all, but many layers of sin keep them out of our view. Yet, dropping off the burden of sin is unbearably hard, and it causes us great pain to accept constraints and limitations on our behaviours. To find our way to God, we must look cast away our earthly wisdom, sensations and moods; but for most of us, it is an impossible task. Our earthly burdens are dragging us down, but we must lift our hearts to the Lord.

The Rite of Orthodoxy today returns us to our roots and identity. It reaffirms our birthright, and we will not sell it, like Esau, for some lentil stew. We will not exchange it for any other trifles with which the world is tempting us. We are Orthodox, and we keep the faith of our fathers who have sacrificed their lives for it.

With its false wisdom, the world is hard at work to lure us away and make us forget about our purpose. It is now our turn to enter the battle with this world. It will be physically enduring, and it will test our wills. We expect wide support, but find that the Orthodox are always a minority. We attract the wrath of the kings of this world big and small when we do not go along with their sinful wishes. Sometimes, only one right believer can be left against myriads of unbelievers. Remember Saint Maximus the Confessor? His opponents cut out his tongue, but he did not surrender. Imagine the steadfastness, the strength of the spirit!

Like many times before, harsh trials and anxiety about the future have filled our days. But as Orthodox, what right do we have to panic? God is in our midst, and we will overcome the hardships. For He will always be with us, and will never abandon us.

You should not think that if you have no influence over what is happening, you cannot change anything. Prayer is the first and most powerful gift of a true believer. The prayer of the righteous one can change many things. So please keep praying for the suffering, the starving, and the wounded. Keep praying for everyone.

May our prayer, and the empathy and love that come with it, pull us out of the abyss of indifference, insensitivity and estrangement.

We must all fight for our hearts and minds for the sake of our Lord.  This spiritual battle is mostly invisible, but we must fight it throughout our lives. With God, we will emerge victorious. The eternal lives of our beloved friends, family and our brothers and sisters in Christ depends on this victory. Seek peace within yourself, and thousands will be saved around you.

I pray that you will have the energy and will to endure.

Archpriest Andrey Lemeshonok

March 17, 2022
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