36211Re: The Orthodox Approch to Mission: Transforming The Heart of The World
- Apr 11, 2014
Missionary work begins in the Holy Mysteries, in confession and the communion in the holy Body and Blood of Christ. It does not begin in a plan for travel, or an outline for catechesis, or a useful translation of the sacred writings or a manual for encounters. Nor does it begin with an idea for a good Christian bookstore or coffee-shop discussion groups. It begins with an epitrachilion laid across our head, our heart laid open by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and the sins which bind us to death and darkness defeated by the power of God. It begins when, through this sacred Mystery, we are freed of the burden of sin, and are made ready to draw near to Christ Himself in the Divine Liturgy, receiving in soul and body Him who shows us His Father’s Kingdom.
In this way the truth proclaimed by St Isaac is made clear, that ‘the Kingdom of God is within you’; and then, only then, are we able to share with the world the truth of that Kingdom. Only then can we not only say, but show the world what it means to attain this Kingdom and live a life wholly shaped by it.
This means that if you as the youth of the Church, and all of us as her members in Christ’s Body, wish indeed to attain our mission and be genuine missionaries in the world, we must begin by whole-heartedly embracing repentance—repentance not as an obligation, not as a requirement, but as a joyful and joy-creating foundation for a truly spiritual life.
excerpts from the Remarks Given by Hieromonk Irenei at the XII All-Diaspora Youth Conference Paris, 5th July 2011
George C. Thomas
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