Theology

Met Georges Khodr: The Question of Life

This is the question of life: who is my neighbor? People think that the neighbor is a spouse, a child or an uncle, all those we call “relatives,” and people distinguish between neighbors and strangers. A neighbor is someone with whom we share our tastes, our religion, or kinship and a stranger is someone with whom we differ and whom we find foreign.

Here the teacher of the law comes to Jesus, a theologian in Israel who had to have known the answer to the question before asking, and so the Bible says that he came to test Jesus and asked him, “How may I be saved?” Jesus replies, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” The man knew that the Law of Moses commands love, but it distinguishes neighbor from foreigner. The Law says, “Only love the Jew.” Non-Jews are called “gentiles” and Jews had nothing to do with them.

Why is psalm 103, which speaks of the creation of the world, placed at the beginning of vespers?

The worship of the Orthodox Church is closely connected with the sacred history of the Old and New Testaments. It as if illustrates this history from the very beginning, symbolically and spiritually, deeply connected with it.    

That is why the rite of the All-Night Vigil begins with the doxology to the Holy Trinity: “Glory to the Holy, Consubstantial, Life-Creating, and Undivided Trinity, always, now and ever and unto ages of ages!” That is, God has always been: before time, before the creation of the world, and we must glorify Him. The choir answers on behalf of the people, “Amen,” which translated from Hebrew means “Truly,” or “Let it be.” Then is read the prayer of worship of the Holy Trinity, “O come let us worship…” and the 103rd psalm is sung, during which the priest and deacon perform the censing of the entire church and the congregation.

When Do Tourists Become Pilgrims?

When Do Tourists Become Pilgrims?
When Do Tourists Become Pilgrims?
When Do Tourists Become Pilgrims?
When Do Tourists Become Pilgrims?

Igumen Daniel (Irbits), Abbot of the Monastery of St. George in Götschendorf (Germany), analyzes the characteristics of Christian pilgrimage, and when it has a good effect and when a harmful effect on the human soul.

Saint Peter of Cetinje

Saint Peter of Cetinje
Saint Peter of Cetinje
Saint Peter of Cetinje
Saint Peter of Cetinje

Saint Peter was born in Njegushi, Montenegro on April 1, 1747. He was tonsured a monk and ordained to the diaconate when he was only seventeen. He accompanied his uncle Bishop Basil to Russia the following year in order to study there. His uncle died within a year after arriving in Russia, and so Peter was obliged to return to Montenegro.

Holy, Glorious Apostle Thomas

The Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas was born in the Galilean city of Pansada and was a fisherman. Hearing the good tidings of Jesus Christ, he left all and followed after Him. The Apostle Thomas is included in the number of the holy Twelve Apostles of the Savior.

According to Holy Scripture, the holy Apostle Thomas did not believe the reports of the other disciples about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe” (John 20:25).

On the eighth day after the Resurrection, the Lord appeared to the Apostle Thomas and showed him His wounds. “My Lord and my God,” the Apostle cried out (John 20:28). “Thomas, being once weaker in faith than the other apostles,” says Saint John Chrysostom, “toiled through the grace of God more bravely, more zealously and tirelessly than them all, so that he went preaching over nearly all the earth, not fearing to proclaim the Word of God to savage nations.”

Venerable Cyriacus the Hermit of Palestine

Saint Cyriacus was born at Corinth to the priest John and his wife Eudokia. Bishop Peter of Corinth, who was a relative, seeing that Cyriacus was growing up as a quiet and sensible child, made him a reader in church. Constant reading of the Holy Scriptures awakened in him a love for the Lord and of a yearning for a pure and saintly life.

The Mystery of Theotokos in Byzantine Hymnography

Theotokology in Hymnography of St. John of Damascus

Bishop John (Puric), PhD

The name of the Virgin Mary is encountered not only in the Holy Scripture[1] and the Holy Tradition, but is mentioned in the entire life of the Orthodox Church: in divine worship, hymnography, iconography and music. Of special importance is the fact that the divine services of the Orthodox Church repeat the entire Theandric Economy of Salvation.[2]