Is the schism between Moscow and Constantinople still going on? According to this wiki it still it, but that of course isn’t always the best source of information. No special reason, I am just genuinely curious.
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Sorry for the lack of posts everyone, but work and life has kept me occupied. Every time I try and sit down to write, something comes up that keeps me away from the computer. Hopefully I will be able to find some time this coming week to get something written.
In the meantime, I hope everyone is having a good Paschal season.
Holy Week is about to begin. But before it does, we remember one of the most important events in the ministry of Jesus.
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent a message to Jesus,[a] “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 6 after having heard that Lazarus[b] was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10 But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” 11 After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” 13 Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Thomas, who was called the Twin,[c] said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus[d] had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles[e] away, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.[f] Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah,[g] the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”
28 When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34 He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus began to weep. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
38 Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
John’s Gospel was written last, and it is important to keep that in mind. Nothing ended up in there by accident. John knew of the other Gospels, and so included what he felt was necessary to achieve his purpose with his Gospel. More than a recounting of the life of Jesus, John’s Gospel is highly theological in nature. It is also a response to many of the concerns, questions and difficulties that the early Church had faced.
The Bread of Life discourse was written to make clear the True Presence, the beginning of his Gospel made clear that Jesus was God from all time, and the mention of the piercing of Jesus’s side in the Passion made it clear that Jesus died on the cross, and died of crucifixion. Here John mentions the raising of Lazarus for another clear purpose.
Lazarus hadn’t simply died. He had died and been buried. More than that, enough time had passed, 4 days, that his body would have begun to decompose. This is why there is mention of the stench by Martha. The other people whom Jesus raised from the dead in the Gospels were not dead nearly so long. The young man at Nain had yet to be buried, and the young girl was dead perhaps only minutes, or maybe an hour or two. But this is four days later. Yet, despite the fact that Lazarus’s body was beginning to decay, Jesus commanded he come out of the tomb, and he did just that. Things like early decay mean nothing to God.
This is a message for all of us- not to fear the decay of this world. And to be assured that the resurrection is real, and will happen to those who are faithful. No matter the conditions are bodies may be in, God can and will raise us up. This, I think, is why John included this passage in his Gospel. He was answering the concerns of those who were wondering how a bodily resurrection could work after decay set in. St. Paul had already answered those questions in a letter to the Corinthians, but they would of course have persisted. Hence why John brings us the story of Lazarus, and the other Gospels don’t. We find in this passage a great reassurance for us, and so this is a special day to thank the Lord, and be mindful that death is not the end.
I meant to get this post up earlier, but alas, I have been very busy “in the real world.” This Lent I am not going to opt out of the ‘sphere, however, I will likely have a small presence. This owes to work, life, etc. So posting may happen, but only as time permits.
I tend to be fairly lenient when it comes to comments. Probably too lenient at points, especially when people bring stuff from other blogs over here. However, I do have some limits. I posted earlier in the year about this subject. Here is what I said was not permitted:
- Obscenity or excess profanity. The latter is sometimes appropriate, but most of the time is unnecessary. Keep it clean, or keep it elsewhere.
- Link dumping to your own blog. If you have your own blog, that is great. Feel free to link it on occasion, or when you have a post worth reading. But linking to your homepage every comment is irksome and will get you banned.
- A lack of civility. One can challenge the ideas of another while still keeping it civil. If anything, this is easier with the internet, because you don’t have the other person right in front of you getting in your face. Take the time to be respectful, even if you think the other person doesn’t deserve it.
- Sock Puppets. Just don’t do it. Use one ID, and keep at it. If you need to switch, e-mail me to let me know. You can find my e-mail in the About page.
- Linking to harmful or obscene websites. Nothing more need be said.
- Lying about what I or other commenters have said. Feel free to critique myself or the other readers all you want. Just don’t misrepresent what folks are actually saying. This is a pet peeve of mine, and will get you banned.
- Extreme or excessive off-topic comments. Posts are meant to discuss specific topics, and just those topics. If you want to talk about something else, use another blog (such as your own), or petition for a post on that/those subject(s).
I am going to add or modify this a bit, with a new addition:
8. No troll names. It doesn’t have to be creative, but using your name to troll me, or my readers, and you will be banned. Use John or Jane Doe if you want.
I mention this because I got several comments recently from someone who hadn’t shown up before. And the name used was basically a troll name- “Provide logical supporting evidence for your conclusions, please.” If that commenter wants to try again with a different name, he or she is free to do so. But please folks, nothing like that.
I have found myself pretty busy lately, and posting has suffered as a result. This will continue for at least the next week, if not two. So during that time period don’t be surprised if I only write a weekend post or two.
in the meantime, while this is going on I am going to start to finally write my final “Market Analysis” post. The subject will be “parental malpractice,” one that I’ve meant to write for a very long time. Hopefully it will prove worth the wait.
Are there any who are devout lovers of God?
Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!
Are there any who are grateful servants?
Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!
Are there any weary with fasting?
Let them now receive their wages!
If any have toiled from the first hour,
let them receive their due reward;
If any have come after the third hour,
let him with gratitude join in the Feast!
And he that arrived after the sixth hour,
let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss.
And if any delayed until the ninth hour,
let him not hesitate; but let him come too.
And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour,
let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.
For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first.
He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour,
as well as to him that toiled from the first.
To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows.
He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor.
The deed He honors and the intention He commends.
Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!
First and last alike receive your reward;
rich and poor, rejoice together!
Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!
You that have kept the fast, and you that have not,
rejoice today for the Table is richly laden!
Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one.
Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith.
Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!
Let no one grieve at his poverty,
for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again;
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.
He destroyed Hell when He descended into it.
He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh.
Isaiah foretold this when he said,
“You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below.”
Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.
It was in an uproar because it is mocked.
It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.
It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.
It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.
Hell took a body, and discovered God.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.
O death, where is thy sting?
O Hell, where is thy victory?
Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!
Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!
The Easter sermon of John Chrysostom (circa 400 AD)