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Friday, October 9, 2020

Homily Two on the Interpretation of the Doxology: "The Incarnation of the Son and Word of God" (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

 
 
On the Interpretation of the Doxology:
The Incarnation of the Son and Word of God

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou
 
Last Sunday we analyzed the first verses of the Doxology, which we chant or read every morning in the Service of Matins or in our morning prayers, when we wake up from sleep, that refers to the Triune God, Who has showed us the light, both sensible and spiritual. Today we will look at the next verses, which refer to the incarnation of the Son and Word of God.

It seems from this that every prayer is done in a special way, and in every prayer a whole theology is hidden. At first we referred to the Triune God, who is the foundation of our biological and spiritual life, and then we refer to the incarnation of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. The reference to the Triune God is called theology and the reference to the incarnation of the Son and Word of God is called divine economy. Both are great mysteries of our salvation.

The following three verses of the Doxology refer to the mystery of the divine economy.

"Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, You who takes away the sins of the world. Receive our prayer, You who sit at the right hand of the Father, and have mercy on us. For You alone are holy, You alone are Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen."

As it turns out, here we are referring to Christ, who is the Son of God and was incarnate for the salvation of mankind. With the phrase "Lamb of God", the Doxology reminds us of His crucifixion sacrifice. Christ was handed over to martyrdom, as the Prophet Isaiah says, as a harmless lamb, that is, He was sacrificed by His own will, even though He had not committed any sin. Lamb of God, the Honorable Forerunner also called him, when he pointed Him out to his disciples. With the phrase "You  who sit at the right hand of the Father", the Doxology reminds us of the resurrection of Christ and His ascension, so that now with the human nature He received from the Panagia He sits at the right hand of the Father and is praised by the angels. And with the phrase "
You alone are holy, You alone are Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father", in combination with the image of the lamb, we are reminded of the mystery of the divine Eucharist. For towards the end of the Divine Liturgy, after the changing of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, and before Holy Communion, when the Priest exclaims: "The holy unto the holy", we confess: "One is holy, one is Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen".

Christ with His incarnation, His teaching, His passion, His Cross, His resurrection and His ascension, showed us the great love of the Father, but also of the Triune God in general, since the creation and recreation of the world, and our salvation is the energy of the Triune God. In the Divine Liturgy we can live the true Light, which is God, to feel the true love that is the energy of God, to be assured of peace and righteousness that are energies of the Triune God. All human things are changeable and temporary. Only God shows us and reveals to us the true state of creation, but also of our own nature.

When we truly live in the atmosphere of the Divine Liturgy, we can experience what God is and that He loves us, even to the point of the Cross, what man is and what the purpose of his existence is, why the world was created and how it was recreated with the incarnation of the Son and Word of God, what is the present and what is the future, what is the Kingdom of God and what must we do to participate in it, what are the saints and how can we walk in their path so we also become saints.

A monk who loved the Divine Liturgy used to say: "It is better that the sun does not rise one day, than that the Divine Liturgy is not performed one day." This is true and is lived by those who understand the great treasure of the Divine Liturgy that we have.

My beloved brethren, do not forget to attend the Divine Liturgy every Sunday, because when we do not go to church it is like living in darkness and not seeing the Light of God. In the Divine Liturgy we truly glorify God.
 
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.
 
 
 
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