What will become of us, dear brothers and sisters, when we die? When, as all our fellow humans will do whether they like it or not, we face death what will be our fate?
For many in our society they believe it is the end, that continued life is only possible in as much as we stay in the memory of the living: so in this weak sense, Julius Caesar remains alive because we remember him, but the vast majority of people end such an existence when their close friends and relatives join them in the grave; some, indeed, die and have none to remember them from that moment.
Such a belief, dear brothers and sisters, is a wrong belief because it fails to recognise the central fact of human existence: Christ is risen! Christ is risen and death has no eternal value, Christ is risen and our lives have value and meaning, Christ is risen and our tomb will be only temporary.
God, in his infinite love for you and for me, allows us to witness a guarantee of his Resurrection, he allows us to witness the empty tomb of another, of the Mother of God.
Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!Luke 1:28
She who is ‘more honourable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim,’ as we sing so often in our services, died; yet three days later they opened the tomb and found it empty.
Verily, the Theotokos, who is ever watchful in intercessions, and whose prayers are never rejected, neither tomb nor death could control. But since she is the Mother of Life, He Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb did translate her to life.Kontakion of the Dormition
And what the blessed Lady experienced in time we too will experience at the end of time—our tombs will empty, as hers emptied, because Christ is risen.
And she stands at the right hand of God, “in gold-woven clothing, decked out in many colours,” (Psalm 44:10 ʟxx) interceding for us before the throne of God. Ask the prayers of the Theotokos before the Lord that, even if the Lord is not inclined to intervene, as at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1–11) her prompting will bring about the sign and miracle.
Do not be tricked the lie that death is the end, rather stand for life and for truth. And as often as you can, turn to the Mother of God and ask her prayers for us.
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Advance notice: We will not have services on 13th–14th nor 27th–28th August. All other weekends we will, God-willing, have our usual pattern.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, one God, Amen.
“Lord,” we cry out here at the Divine Liturgy, “it is well that we are here.” For we have done a good thing: we have risen from our slumber and journeyed to Church, we have left aside the cares of this life and come forward to have a meeting, an encounter, with the Lord. We have joined ourselves together as the Assembly of the Lord and are eager to receive him: “Lord, it is well that we are here.”
When we have an encounter with the Lord we want to hold on to it, to grasp it, to take it with us as our treasure. But this is not what we are to do: as to the Equal-to-the-Apostles Mary Magdalene he says to us, “Do not cling to me.” (John 20:17) And this is precisely what Peter is trying to do, to cling to the Lord, to the moment, to the vision: “if you wish,” says he, “I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” Which is to say,
“Lord, this is the Kingdom: let us dwell here on the mountain. That of which you have told us, that you ‘must go to Jerusalem, suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised on the third day,’ (Matthew 16:21) need not happen. Let us stay with you here.”
Services this week
Friday 12th August
Discussion on the Apocalypse of John (Revelation), 8 pm
Online session is via Google Meet: please get in contact for the details.
Can I help you?
I am here for you, you need only ask. Is there a way I can support your life of faith? Get in touch.
Can you help the mission?
Yes, absolutely. Offer yourselves to the Lord: pray! Make available to him all your talents and ask him how he would like you to use them — listen for his reply.
With love in Christ