The Extreme Humility of Christ

The Extreme Humility of Christ

Humility isn’t easy. In fact, it is likely the most difficult (and painful) of all the spiritual virtues. Nevertheless, the way of salvation is imbued with humility, and every snare of the evil one is meant to drag us away from this virtue and into the arms of pride. Becoming a Christian and acquiring humility […]

Jesus is the Temple

Jesus is the Temple

John’s Gospel is the most “mystical” and symbolic of all the canonical Gospels. In fact, John’s Gospel is so filled with spiritual insight that the Church almost exclusively reads from it during the Paschal (post-Easter) season. This is done because all catechumens are baptized on Great and Holy Saturday, leaving no un-initiated among the laity. […]

The Personality of the Lord Jesus Christ

Discovering Orthodoxy

Much has been written by the Holy Fathers over the centuries about the close union between Christ and the Church. This mystical union between the Head (the Lord Jesus Christ) and his Body (the Church) is everywhere assumed, both in the New Testament Scriptures, and in the patristic corpus. For example, the story of Saul’s […]

Fasting According to the Scriptures

Fasting According to the Scriptures

The spiritual discipline of fasting has been part of religious life since the very beginning. In Paradise, the Lord commands Adam (Gen. 2:16–17): From every tree that is in the paradise you may eat for food, but from the tree for knowing good and evil, you will not eat from it. And on whichever day […]

Christ the Mercy Seat

Christ the Mercy Seat

In his Epistle to the Romans, Saint Paul writes: “… being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Whom God Himself hath set forth to be an expiation through faith in His blood” (3.24-25). This word, translated as “expiation” by the Orthodox New Testament, is in Greek hilasterion. The usage and meaning of […]

Who Says Jesus is the Only Way?

Who Says Jesus is the Only Way?

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” —John 14:6 Admittedly, these words are hard to stomach in our pluralistic culture that loathes absolutes. Usually the way people hear a statement like this makes it an automatic turn-off. Oftentimes the reaction […]

The Eucharist of the Servant and Son

The Eucharist of the Servant and the Son

The Eucharistic liturgy, as described in the Didache or “Teaching of the Twelve Apostles” (ca. AD 50-70), contains prayers over the bread and the wine (mixed with water), which read as follows: We thank you, our Father, for the holy vine of David your servant, which you have revealed to us through Jesus your Child. Glory […]

The Qaddish and the Our Father

The Qaddish and the Our Father

Some scholars contend that the precedent for the “Lord’s Prayer” (St. Matt. 6:9-13; St. Luke 11:2-4) was set by the second-temple Judæan קדיש (“Qaddish” - Aramaic for “holy” or “sanctification”), which was an invocation made at the end of synagogue services (the precursor to the Christian “liturgy of the word”). Per Deiss: “The first two petitions inspired […]