Continuing on our 'theme' of looking at this season of the Apostles' Fast for our own spiritual growth, let's ask the title question.
"What is your profession?"
It's an integral part of how we as human beings interact with one another. When we first meet a person, we say to them, "Tell me something about yourself," so that we might come to know them better. And the 'standard' response to such a situation is, "I'm a ___", where you fill in the blank with your profession. It is as if someone should come to know a lot about us if we describe ourselves as a lawyer, a banker, an engineer, a doctor, a housewife, or a teacher. And indeed, those 'labels' reveal something about us, but they don't come close to revealing to someone who we really are.
How many people would respond to the question with the answer, "I am an Orthodox Christian!"? In my entire life, I've never encountered that as a response. And in many instances, I or my family members have come to be 'introduced' to people who were in fact Orthodox Christians, and we only 'discovered' that spiritual connection after many discussions with them - a chance glimpse of a cross worn around the neck, or seeing us make the sign of the cross before we take a bite of food. It takes those clandestine professions of faith to indicate to someone something more intimate about who we really are as a person, to reveal a portion of our spiritual side.
I write these things not to indict, for I am a classic case study in the issue. I am secularly employed as an engineer, and the opportunities for meeting new people are endless. In those opportunities, I never once introduce myself (in that business world) as, "I'm an Orthodox priest." Rather, I'm an engineer, an alumnus of a certain college, with so many years of experience in a particular field. And all this is right and proper, I think, for the situation.
But I often wonder, can the people who are new acquaintances see the priest inside the person they just met? To generalize for all of us, can a new acquaintance find Christ reflected in what they see when they look at us?
If I profess faith in Jesus Christ, I have a 'profession'. To make that profession visible, to strengthen my faith so that it is obvious to others, there is a reason for me to fast in this season. Saint Paul taught, "To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work." (Titus 1:15-16)
May this Fast strengthen us all "for every good work".
Welcome to Saint Herman's, Hudson, Ohio
This blog is a partial compilation of the messages, texts, readings, and prayers from our small community. We pray that it will be used by our own people, to their edification. And if you happen by and are inclined to read, give the glory to God!
The blog title, "Will He Find Faith on the Earth?" is from Luke 18:8, the "Parable of the Persistent Widow." It overlays the icon of the Last Judgment, an historical event detailed in Matthew Chapter 25, for which we wait as we pray in the Nicean Creed.
We serve the Holy Orthodox cycle of services in contemporary English. Under the omophorion of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Bulgarian Patriarchal Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia, we worship at 5107 Darrow Road in Hudson, Ohio (44236). If you are in the area, please join us for worship!
Regular services include:
Sunday Divine Liturgy 10AM (Sept 1 - May 31)
930AM (June 1 - Aug 31)
Vespers each Saturday 6PM
We pray that you might join us for as many of these services as possible! We are open, and we welcome inside the Church all visitors. See our Parish web page: