Meeting The Orthodox (Page 25 of 25)

By: Fr. Thomas HopkoRead time: 40 mins11778 Hits

25. The Christian Mystery

We are now back where we started, speaking about the Liturgy and its place in the Orthodox Church. Would you agree then that the Liturgy reveals what Orthodoxy really is?

Yes, of course, the Liturgy is the central revelation of the Christian mystery, and in it the whole of Orthodoxy is somehow contained, remembered and given to our living experience.

All the icons, the vestments, the candles, the singing … everything taken together in harmony and unity serve to disclose just one thing: Man is made for God and finds his identity, fulfillment and perfection in Him.

We speak much today about identity and fulfillment. Who am I? What am I doing in this world? What is the sense of it all? Does it have any meeting?

The Orthodox Church says that the answer to all these crucial questions lies in Christ, His Cross and His Resurrection. Through Christ the meaning of myself and the world and everything that exists is disclosed and revealed. Through Christ, the Kingdom of God is opened to men and the possibility for my becoming myself is guaranteed. I become myself only in God. My nature finds its meaning in Him. My existence, as an image reflecting His divine reality, is secured. My life as an eternal being is established.

In this life this means that I must put on Christ and take up His Cross and follow him. I must suffer for truth and love and goodness. And yet there is joy in this suffering, for obedience to the Word is fulfilled in the Marriage Banquet of the Lamb of God in the Kingdom of God.

This is the Christian Mystery which the liturgy reveals and for which alone, the Orthodox Christian Church exists in the world.



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