Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

The called and the chosen

Expand Messages
  • byakimov@csc.com.au
    The called and the chosen In one of the Sunday Gospel readings we hear the parable of the Royal Son s wedding feast. In a direct historical sense this parable
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      The called and the chosen

      In one of the Sunday Gospel readings we hear the parable of the Royal Son's
      wedding feast.


      In a direct historical sense this parable refers to the Jews, who were
      called, but who disdained the honor of their heavenly calling. However,
      just like the entire Gospel in general, this particular parable is not
      limited to a single meaning, but contains greater depths.


      The image of the man who came to the feast without wearing wedding garments
      reveals to us the principle that for our salvation it is not enough to be
      among those who are called. We still need "our own" clothes, i.e. personal
      striving


      in life which transforms us from the "called" into the "chosen."


      The Church is the Body of Christ and not some kind of external
      organization; therefore, our genuine contact with the Church takes place
      through the personal striving of each one of us. In this manner we are
      outwardly distinguished from the so-called Western Christianity that
      surrounds us, in which personal striving is belittled, if not completely
      rejected.


      The parable ends with the words: "Many are called, but few are chosen."
      And, in truth, much is being said about Christianity these days, but very
      little is being done that is Christian; much is being said about peace, but
      very little is being done for peace. All of it is being done by those who
      were called, but not chosen. Actually, it is not surprising, since faith
      itself, without personal labor, can cease being faith, i.e. it dries up as
      a seed without moisture. For example, the mystery of the Holy Trinity,
      although incomprehensible to the human mind, is nonetheless undoubtedly
      true. Yet how many so-called Christians, influenced by various false
      teachings, doubt this dogmatic truth or simply do not believe!


      Nevertheless, if one looks at the contemporary press, it turns out that
      these same people are ready to believe in all manner of absurdity and
      fantasy. People who reject the miracles of God and His saints, at the same
      time allow the existence of miracles of nature. For example: that man
      emerged from some kind of bio-chemical mixture, but now is being born of
      his own kind! Or ? that the universe came into being all by itself! What
      can be more improbable than such a "miracle"? And, furthermore, it is a
      miracle without a miracle-worker. It is much more difficult to understand
      such an origin of man or universe than to understand the major dogmas of
      the Christian faith, even for the simplest mind. And such mis-conceptions
      are often repeated by people who call themselves Christians.


      The Lord has invited all of mankind to the wedding feast, i.e. to eternity,
      but few people have realized it and do not have ? or do not wish to have ?
      proper spiritual garments. The influence of this seemingly Christian, but
      in reality anti-Christian environment can have an effect ? and actually has
      a great effect ? on us, Orthodox Christians. We have been given the
      fullness of faith, but we must also preserve it, which in our times becomes
      more and more difficult. In spiritual life we cannot stand in one place:
      either we will rise, or we will go down under the influence of our actions
      or inaction, and also under the effect on us of our surroundings.


      Let each one of us contemplate his spiritual life and at least for a moment
      think of where he now stands: we may remain called, but are we chosen?


      Thus let us keep our faith in God, for without true faith there is no
      salvation. And the Holy Church teaches us to believe in the One God
      glorified in the Trinity ? the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, ? the
      One-in-essence and indivisible Trinity, Which we glorify unto the ages of
      ages. Amen.


      Protopriest Igor Hrebinka
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.