Our experience of the Divine Liturgy should lead to extroversion. Christ offered himself "for the life of the world". The "we" of the Divine Liturgy embraces all people. When the priest just before the final blessing says "ἐν εἰρινῃ προλέθωμεν", he does not mean "the Divine Liturgy is over, you can go home for coffee", but rather, "the Divine Liturgy after the Divine Liturgy is just beginning; transfer the Divine Liturgy out into the world; go and minister to the world for which Christ gave His life.” When we refer to the consecrated items as “Gifts,” let us not forget that the meaning of gifts is to be shared. The Dismissal, at the end of the Divine Liturgy, is an end and at the same time a beginning.
Besides the altar of the temple, there is another altar which we see every day, wherever we go, in the market, in the streets and streams. At this second altar we may offer sacrifice to God all the time; and yet we ignore it, pass it over with indifference, treat it with contempt. And what is this second altar? They are our fellow man, the poor and abandoned, the suffering, the victims of injustice...
A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kallistos Ware, university teacher and pastor of the Orthodox Church, with an important written work translated into many languages, made the Orthodox tradition known to a very wide international audience.
Born in Bath, Britain to English parents, he studied at Westminster School in London and Oxford University. He became a monk in Patmos and then priest of the Greek parish in Oxford. At the same time, he taught Orthodox theology and church history at the University of Oxford for 35 years. He was ordained titular bishop and then metropolitan of Diocles, of the Ecumenical Throne, always retaining responsibility for the parish of Oxford.
He was awarded an honorary doctorate by many Universities in Europe and the USA. He fell asleep on August 24, 2022.