|Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes - Spiritual Nourishment for the Soul - April 2005|
The Holy Fire : The Great Miracle of Holy Orthodoxy
Peace to your soul! May our Gracious Lord God be with you today and always! In true Orthodoxy we have the wonderful revelation of how much our Lord Jesus Christ loves us, when He grants us His Holy Light known as the Holy Fire, the Great miracle of Holy Orthodoxy and Christianity. Every year, on the night of His Holy and Glorious Resurrection, this light is offered to us at the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. This feast of feasts in the Eastern Orthodox Church is celebrated, this year, on 1 May.
Very soon we will enter the period of Holy Week, which begins on the night of Palm Sunday, 24 April. We enter this spiritual pilgrimage in prayer, and witness, as the week proceeds, from the Holy Gospels our Lord's Passion, Crucifixion, and His Holy Glorious and Bright Resurrection. What a spiritual week it can become for us all when we fully participate in these services in prayer and as a family praying together within our local parish church. We also want to consider bringing our friends with us to witness the holiness of this particular week, one that brings joy for us all at the end of Holy Week.
What is important for us all is, that, each of us should be in church, praying during Holy Week, and that we should really rush to the Church to pray and to go with our Lord to Golgotha! At the same time we witness the washing of His feet, it is well for us to receive the fresh spiritual anointing by the grace of Holy Unction that is celebrated on Holy Wednesday. It would also be a great blessing for us to prepare ourselves in Holy Confession and to receive the Holy Mystery of Holy Communion at the Mystical Supper on Holy Thursday morning.
How can we have forgotten that our Lord Jesus Christ weeps for us? Our hearts, in the belief of Him, at times becomes weak and we do not at times realize who He is and what He offers to us always: His Resurrection and life everlasting for us all! Jesus wept, if we remember, at the tomb of St. Lazarus; make sure to attend this service on St. Lazarus Saturday, celebrated this year on 23 April.
Deep faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is needed on a daily basis for us all. We really should allow the eyes of our hearts and souls to be open and to behold the many great spiritual rewards that are available for us during this Holy Week. We especially anticipate with hope and love the feast of all feasts in true Christianity: His Holy and Bright Glorious Resurrection. This indeed is a glorious and holy feast, the center point of our Holy Faith. We have at the heart of it the sublime truth that Christ our Lord has Risen and continues to always be with us and loves us all!
At the same time, during the period of Holy Week, we should also consider offering the following prayers: pray for those who are ill, pray for the newly departed in the Lord. Pray for those who hate us and those that love us. Pray for those who do not have the proper shelter and/or are homeless, those who are hungry, are thirsty and seem to have no source of relief.
We can also pray for those who are desperate for our love and understanding. At the same time we should pray for our church and those who administer it with the grace of the Holy Spirit. We could and should pray for our parents, for all the children, our relatives, as well as our friends and our neighbors.
Pray for the peace of the whole world and for the soldiers in war on a daily basis. We can offer our humble prayer for those in the hospital, those who are ill, for those in nursing homes and those in prison.
Above all let us pray that our Gracious Lord God will grant us to be worthy to receive the Holy Fire at the Holy Sepulcher, and at our local parish church. This is a time for individuals and families to be as one loving Christian family and to pray together.
Love to pray, and let us all go to Church with love, where prayer is shared and where we taste the heavenly Kingdom. It is important that each of us enter the New Jerusalem, and pray, as well as offer our love for our Lord God who in return will bless us and bestows on us many spiritual rewards.
Our devoted prayers are needed during Holy Week. As we offer all glory and honor to Our Lord God, may we find ourselves weeping and in sharing His sufferings. Then finally, may we find ourselves weeping no more, for Christ shall rise from the dead and the gates of Paradise shall be flung open so all may flee from death to life in Christ our Lord!
May the Holy Fire, the Light of Christ we receive at His Glorious Resurrection, shine in our hearts and may we know that our Lord God is with us always.
May the light of our Lord's Holy Resurrection shine in your hearts and lives!
Christ Is Risen!
Truly He Is Risen!
Humbly In Christ Our Lord,
Humbly, In The Love Of Our Lord's Holy Resurrection,
Content written/compiled by firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes