January 25, 2018

Our Holy Father Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople (390)

1 Corinthians 12:7-11; John 10:9-16

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Look how much the Lord loves us! Not only does He Himself act as the door of salvation, but He protects us from those who would try to consume us. His life is given to us that we may live fully—as He intended from the beginning! Let’s be clear on this, His life is given for us that we live it abundantly; He does not say that our lives will be filled with abundance (although for some that may happen). All that He is He desires to make known to us, to reveal to us, and as He knows us, we know Him!

We know Him by His own revelation to us in His becoming human like in all ways except sin, His life among us, and the teaching we have received through the Scriptures and the Apostolic Teaching contained in Holy Tradition, in His death and resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father, the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and in His second and glorious coming. Some of the Apostolic Teaching is contained in the constant teachings of the Church, in the liturgical texts we use in our services, in the writings of the Church Fathers, in the Catechisms that we use. One such Church Father, who like our Lord acted as a protector of Christ’s faithful, was our Holy Father Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople (390). St Gregory was the archbishop of Constantinople in the fourth century and was a great orator and philosopher. A lot of his written work has impacted the understanding of the Trinity for the whole Church, both East and West. He is known as one of the Three Great Hierarchs in the Eastern Churches (we will commemorate him again on January 30 with Sts. John Chrysostom and Basil the Great).

Here is a little of his oration at Pascha:

Yesterday I was crucified with Him; today I am glorified with Him.

Yesterday I died with Him; today I am made alive with Him.

Yesterday I was buried with Him; today I am raised up with Him.

Let us offer to Him Who suffered and rose again for us … ourselves, the possession most precious to God and most proper.

Let us become like Christ, since Christ became like us.

Let us become Divine for His sake, since for us He became Man.

He assumed the worse that He might give us the better. He became poor that by His poverty we might become rich. He accepted the form of a servant that we might win back our freedom.

He came down that we might be lifted up. He was tempted that through Him we might conquer. He was dishonored that He might glorify us. He died that He might save us. He ascended that He might draw to
Himself us, who were thrown down through the fall of sin.

Let us give all, offer all, to Him who gave Himself a Ransom and Reconciliation for us.

We needed an incarnate God, a God put to death, that we might live. We were put to death together with Him that we might be cleansed. We rose again with Him because we were put to death with Him. We were glorified with Him because we rose again with Him.

A few drops of Blood recreate the whole of creation!

— St. Gregory the Theologian, Easter Orations