Free shipping for purchases over €29 and immediate delivery to your location - T 210 32 26 343 Free shipping for purchases over €29 and immediate delivery to your location - T 210 32 26 343
"The unity, the name and the glory" - Sunday of the Holy Fathers

Father Vasilios Argyriadis

Today our Church remembers the 318 fathers of the first Ecumenical Council, which is why today's Sunday is called the Sunday of the Holy Fathers. The gospel reading we heard is somehow connected to this celebration. It is a passage from the high priestly prayer of Jesus, where the Lord addresses God the Father revealing the relationship between them and begging Him for the unity of Christians. And the fathers of the first Ecumenical Council, in Nicaea of ​​Bithynia (in 325 AD), theorized precisely about this relationship of the Son with the Father and sketched the outline of the truth, so that the unity of the faithful could be based on it. It would be worth noting three points from today's gospel reading. The unity of the Church is the first.

"Keep them in your name... that they may be one, as we are ," prays the Lord. And a little earlier he has said, "I am asking about them [art. the disciples and later believers] ; I do not ask about the world, but about where you teach me" . He distinguishes between Christians and the world and prays for Christians, not for the world. He pleads for Christian unity. Why does this happen? Why does he emphatically emphasize that he is not pleading for the world in general but for Christians and their unity? We will understand this if we remember again the story of Genesis.

When God creates the world, he invites man to become in a sense a co-creator with him. Where does this appear? From the fact that when he created the animals of the earth and the fowls of the sky, he brought them all before Adam so that he could name them (Gen. 2,19-20). What does it mean to "name" the theology of the Bible? It means I give direction, I give purpose and content to existence. So God creates the world and man is called to become God's co-creator, creating direction and purpose for the world, that is, leading it freely into the arms of God. Christ with His incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection completes the work of divine creation. And again he calls man to become a co-creator in this work. He calls Christians to be constant bearers of the joyful youth in the world and to do what He did: to unite people with God, to take the world by the hand and lay it at the feet of God the Father, whom Christ manifested in His face. And in order for Christians to do this work of co-creation, they should possess the condition of the Creator, the condition of unity — " ἵνα ὦσιν ἕν, like us " . God creates the world, because the unity of Trinitarian love cannot but overflow and diffuse creating "world", that is, beauty, calling everything to return and join freely and graciously in this loving communion of the Holy Trinity. Just as the unity of divine love is the creator of Adam, so the Church, with the same unity of love, is called to carry on her back the salvific work of Christ, who is the new Adam, the completion and completion of the divine Creation. The unity of love is therefore a condition of the work of evangelism. That is why it is so important. Creation has culminated with Christ, but it has not ceased to be accomplished and acted upon; it is the Church that carries it, it is the Church that now has a duty and responsibility to highlight God's creation, as a "world", as beauty. That is why Christ separates Christians from other people: it is the Christians who will continue His work and become partners and co-creators of Christ. And that is why he pleads for the unity of Christians: with this unity they will be able to continuously minister to the change of the world, giving it direction and a path towards paternal love.

The second element worth keeping from today's gospel passage has to do with God's name. "Reveal your name to the people" , we heard the Lord say. What does God's name mean? We said that the name in biblical theology reveals the direction of man, the purpose of his existence. But to God, what can it mean? Since we know nothing about God's existence other than "ἐγο εἰμι ὁ ὤν" (Ex. 3,14), that is, beyond what exists. What is the name that Christ revealed to people? It is God's love for man and His commandments. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16). This is the name of God that Christ manifests: it is God's love for man and God's commandments, because the commandments are the content of faith in Christ, with them it is that "the believer does not perish" . That is why Jesus prays, " keep them in your name " - make them understand your love, believe in your Son, keep your commandments.

And the third element worth keeping from today's Gospel reading, from the high priestly prayer of Jesus, is the glory of God. "Glorify me to you, Father, with the glory that you had before the world is with you" - "glorify me with you with the glory that I had before the world was." The glory of God is perhaps the only thing we can conceive of God. His existence is inaccessible, His nature unapproachable. But His glory is what the existence of God emits, it is the radiation of what God is. It is what the angelic world praises and echoes secretly in every corner of Creation. And the glory of God is eternal. It existed before the world and will exist after the end of the ages. The Church calls us to this glorification of God. And this glorification is our destiny at the end of the ages, when everything false will have fallen like a scale from the body of the world and only the truth of God will remain. The glory of God is what beckons us from the depths of the Last Days. It is what calls us and gives us vision in our life's struggle.

So the unity, the name and the glory. Let's keep these three elements from today's gospel passage. The unity of the Church, which is the condition for the evangelization of the world, is related to what the Church must do outwardly. God's name, which is His love and commandments, is related to what every Christian must do inwardly — to strive to keep the commandments and to make God's love his own. And glory is that which surrounds God like a halo, like a crown of fire, and which calls us to eternity.

Let the necessity of unity be what we must share and pursue with our whole selves. Let it be the name of God that we must understand and apply in our personal lives. And may His glory be what we will desire and long for forever, until God demands that we close our eyes in this world and open them again to the eternity of His love.