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A Voice From The Isles

A Voice From The Isles
Communion with Christ

Episode date: May 10, 2013
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Today on Holy Thursday Christ shares His life with us. The Old Testament readings for Vespers begin with Exodus, Chapter 19, Verses 10 to 19 in which “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Make them wash their clothes and be read by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.” Therefore, Moses “said to the people: prepare yourselves for the third day.” So it is for us: we prepare ourselves with Christ for the third day, the day of Pascha, the day of the Resurrection. How during the next three days do we prepare ourselves for the…

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A Voice From The Isles

A Voice From The Isles
Types of the Resurrection

Episode date: May 11, 2013
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The Old Testament readings for this evening’s Liturgy all call us to meditate on the deliverance and protection of the people of God.  The Exodus narrative celebrating God’s liberation of His People from oppressive slavery in Egypt, the deliverance of Jonah from his perilous entombment in the great fish and the protection of the 3 youths in the fiery furnace of Nebuchadnezzar are three examples of this deliverance and protection.  Some may puzzle as to why these readings are appointed with others of similar vein on this eve of the Resurrection.  They are read because they are anticipatory “types” of the resurrection. …

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A Voice From The Isles

A Voice From The Isles
Paschal Letter from the Patriarch

Episode date: May 12, 2013
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To all our beloved in the Lord
the children of the Antiochian See, clergy and laypersons,

On the great day of Resurrection, on which Christ rose and raised us with Him, it pleases me to remember with you the meanings of Resurrection and to explain some of its aspects.

The resurrection of the Lord is the resurrection of each one of us. In the resurrection the power of the devil, our enemy, was brought to naught. Although death terrifies human beings, yet the Lord Jesus has defeated it with his life-giving resurrection. He descended in His death to the abode of death, that is, to Hades, and exploded it from within, abolishing…

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A Voice From The Isles

A Voice From The Isles
Trampling Down Death By Death

Episode date: May 13, 2013
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When an icon painter, or rather writer, makes an icon he follows Church Tradition. The icon is a vehicle for truth. In Tradition there can be no depiction of something which has not been seen or recorded. Any attempt to show something that never happened would be a fiction.

No one witnessed the Resurrection, and no account of the actual moment exists. What we have is knowledge of the empty tomb and the appearances of Christ afterwards.  The Orthodox Church has, therefore, not set much store on attempts to depict the Resurrection itself. There are icons of the myrrh bearing women, and of appearances of the risen Christ.

The…

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A Voice From The Isles

A Voice From The Isles
Ghost Busting

Episode date: May 13, 2013
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A phrase common in English is “Doubting Thomas” and this has come to colour our understanding of the encounter between this Apostle and the Risen Lord.  Of course, doubt is part of the story.  St. Thomas must see to believe … he must have evidence.  Jesus readily agrees to his request but then comments that there is blessedness in believing without the need for such evidence. 

There is, however, I believe another dimension to St. Thomas’ response and this has nothing to do with doubt.  Not unreasonably St. Thomas needs to know that this really is Jesus whom he is seeing and no ghost.  The handling…

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