Thursday, February 12, 2015

"That they may be one..."

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father. The Holy Gospel according to St. John 10: 11-18

Dear friends of the Holy Faith,

We come from all walks of life, all directions, all ethnicities, all genders, sexual orientations, some are black, white, mulatto, and so on and so forth. Christ desires for us who have received the Divine Faith that He revealed, to preserve and guard its deposit to us, His unworthy handmaids and servants. 

We have unfortunately torn asunder the Church Our Lord founded over power, corruption, ego, prestige, money, physical structures, and all in the name of Christ. It is shameful and disgraceful, but we are all guilty. 'There is not a man that lives, who does not sin.' Those of us who have received the Divine deposit of the Faith must work diligently to preserve it, to the best of our human efforts, so that when Christ returns He does not say to us that He does not recognize us, lest we be scattered with the goats rather than gathered with His sheep. 

The sad reality remains that we have torn asunder Christ's Church over various political and religious ideologies. Even more sadly, Christ was left out of the picture; our eyes have collectively been taken off Christ and we have become unto ourselves, as Pope Francis of Rome once said, "self-referential." Such darkness! In such a spiritually ill condition we have scales over our spiritual sight and all we see is darkness, nothing beyond ourselves, our Churches, our institutions, our physical properties, our power, our money, our prestige... I believe, that Christ, while in the Garden of Gethsemane, sweat blood on account of not only His impending suffering to come and His sacrifice on the Cross, but also because His divine foreknowledge faced His inner human consciousness with the way His Church would be torn asunder by selfish men and that the sheep of His flock would be further scattered than gathered. The reality...this is what we face today.

What are we as guardians of the Holy Faith doing to unite, and set aside all these earthly desires, ambitions, greed, self referentialism, and turning our gaze once again toward the Lord, allowing Him to remove the scales from our eyes?

We invite all the sheep that have been scattered because of evil ambitious churchmen and crass politics and religious ideologies to find a home with us and to be seated at the Holy Table. Let us work to set aside all nonsense claims to power and allow Christ to be the Head of His Church once again. The Pope of Rome is not the Head of the Church, the Ecumenical Patriarch is not the head of the Church, the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church is not the head of the Church...these are all servant guardians of the Faith in their respective corners of Christianity. Christ is the Supreme Head and Pastor of the Church and none other. 

If you are interested in setting aside all earthly things and helping to unite the scattered sheep, come and join us in our efforts to return the focus back on Christ.

Western Orthodox Christianity
Old Roman Catholic Church

2 comments:

  1. But the Old Roman Catholic Church (ORCC) is NOT in union with Rome.

    ReplyDelete