Wednesday, May 28, 2014

On the Ascension of Our Lord by St. Gregory of Palamas

Available on Amazon for Kindle from Mount Thabor Publishing here and here.
"Do you see this shared celebration and joy of ours, which the Lord bestowed on those who believe in Him with His resurrection and ascension? It sprang from affliction. Do you see this life, or rather, this immortality? It shone upon us through death. Do you see the heavenly height to which Christ ascended when He was taken up, and the sublime glory with which He was glorified according to the flesh? He attained to this by means of humility and dishonour. As the apostle says of Him, "He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:8-11).
"If, then, God highly exalted His Christ because He humbled Himself, suffered dishonour, was tempted and endured a shameful Cross and death for our sake, how will He save, glorify and raise us up if we neither choose humility, nor show love to our fellows, nor gain our souls by enduring temptation (cf. Luke 21:19), nor follow the saving Guide through the "strait gate" and along the "narrow way" leading to eternal life (Matt. 7:14)? To this we were called, says Peter, the chief apostle, "Because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps" (cf. 1 Pet. 2:21).

"But why is it that God's Christ went through such sufferings? Why did God highly exalt Him on that account, and why does He call us to share in His Son's sufferings?"

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