ALIVE

May 19, 2018

In memory of all the Latvian children who will be missing the celebration of the centenary of the Republic of Latvia because they were murdered by their mothers in their wombs, with the help of professional killers who gave oath to save lives, and the patronage of the government: their innocent blood is a curse upon the land.

In memory of the hundreds millions children assassinated in all of Europe in this modern sacrifice of infants to Baal (just one of the names of the devil), made first legal by a Lenin ukaz: their innocent blood has cursed the land.

“Once, being pregnant, I was lying on bed rest in an ordinary Russian maternity house,” said Elena Piskareva, telling the story of the creation of the film, “and there were some women lying in the beds next to me: some were on bed rest, fighting for their children’s lives, others came for an abortion and fighting for death, literally. And the irony is that the same doctors did the operation for those fighting for their lives, and for the others condemned to die. It was like a conveyor. Then I went home, my pregnancy having ended well, but this topic gave me no rest and I started to dig. I came across a network of dozens of sites with millions of emails of women who had had abortions, and a heap of women’s videos on YouTube. I saw such a huge array of pain that I realized: until I make this film, I will have no rest. Then I found out some figures that caused me to cringe: every year in Russia there are a million abortions (officially), and six million (unofficially, including commercial centers).”

The plot of the twenty minute film is rather simple. Eight women are waiting their turns to have abortions in the hospital ward. They’re all different ages, but they are united as one—they all have a very weighty, so they think, reason why they are there and have decided to take such a terrible step. One already has two kids and a mortgage, the second has a career and a life ahead of her, the third is preparing for graduation, and the fourth has nowhere to live in Moscow, working as a courier—how could she have a kid?… In casual conversation, one after another leaves for the office and comes back… Already after… Every time, when the nurse brings the next of the eight women in a wheelchair and places her on the hospital bed, the others become ill at ease, and all the more obvious for them is that thought that they tried to hide from themselves: that what is happening before their eyes, what’s going to happen with them—is not normal, but a terrible, unnatural slaughter; it is something that cannot be changed or returned later…

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IN DEFENCE OF LOT’S DAUGHTERS

May 9, 2018

Of course, if you know the story, the angels blinded these men and told Lot and his family to get out of town because God was getting ready to destroy the city. God had talked to Abraham about what he was going to do, and Abraham had talked Him down to requiring that there only be ten righteous men in the city of Sodom for the city to be spared. But He didn’t find ten righteous men, He found in fact only one. Even those of Lot’s own household had been corrupted by this time.

So he left, and as I mentioned, his wife looked back even though they were told not to look back on the city, and she was turned into a pillar of salt. Lot made it out of the city with just the clothes on his back, and his two daughters. Both of them had been betrothed by this time, but neither of these men were interested in leaving: They thought that Lot was crazy, so they didn’t go. Later we see that even his daughters were morally corrupted. From his daughters there came two nations, Moab and Ammon, and these two nations were idolaters. They were nothing like the people of Israel, not even some of the time.

Father John Whiteford

I fully agree with the exhortations contained in this father John’s article, but I must take exception about the paragraphes quoted above.

First of all, I do not think that those two Lot’s daughters were married or betrothed: Lot had probably other daughters who were married and lived with their husbands, and stayed with their husbands when they refused to leave with Lot. The Scripture says that those two daughters knew no man and lived in the house of their father. Now, it can be argued that betrothed daughters could still live in the house of their father, waiting for the wedding and to know man, but it’s hardly tenable that betrothed daughters would be considered by their father to be still in his authority to dispose as he wished, offering wives of other men to a mob full of abominable instincts.

Moreover, I think it’s ungenerous to affirm so neatly that those two daughters were morally corrupted. They knew no men and did not look back to the city. All the bad press they have received until now has its origin in the incestuous relationship they cunningly had with their father.

And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our Father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

Yet, why did they have that incestuous relationship with their father? Out of concupiscence, lust, desire of pleasure? Hardly so! For Lot was an old man, living in a cave in a deserted place, having lost nearly everything he had, and the relationship was consumed with an unconscious man.

No, the Scripture tells us why did they do it. The daughters of Lot, who followed their father and stayed with him in the wilderness, giving thus up any hope to have husbands and a comfortable family life, did it that they might preserve seed of their father, the seed of a righteous man. In all truth, their deeds look more like sacrificial service than moral corruption to me, even if there certainly is a pleasure for every woman (worth her name) in bearing a child; for sure, that’s not a pleasure for corruption, but to salvation (1 Tim 2, 15).

Father John points out that from this relationship came out two idolater nations: Moab and Ammon; and it’s true. They were idolaters. Yet, the Edomites were idolaters too, and they were seed of Abraham.

Father John says that those nations were nothing like the people of Israel, not even some of the time; and it’s true. Yet, the sons of Moab and Ammon did not crucify the Lord of Glory, the sons of Israel did.

Apart from all that, can anyone bear witness that not a single righteous man came out of Ammon? I cannot, but I can bear witness that from Ammon came the mother of Solomon’s heir to the kingdom of Israel.

Can anyone bear witness that not a single righteous man came out of Moab? I cannot, but I can bear witness that from Moab came the mother of Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of king David; out of Moab God chose a woman to conceive and nurture the ancestors of our Lord: Ruth, whose righteousness was so great to deserve an entire book of the Scripture entitled to her name.

In my poor understanding, I think all that is more than enough for us to, at the very least, stop judging the daughters of Lot. They are part of the work of God unto our salvation, and that’s wonderful in our eyes.

FREEDOM OF MAN – THE ORTHODOX UNDERSTANDING OF THE REDEMPTION

April 25, 2018

The Almighty has no use for slaves. What good slaves can be to Him Who may whatever He wishes?

God cannot deny Himself. He made men in His image, and this means above all that He made us free, free to choose, and this freedom must be preserved at any cost.

Man must be free to choose life eternal, and life eternal is the voluntary submission to the will of God, out of love for Him and His statutes. It is the faith in God and His Word!

This willing submission, in spirit and truth, means the Cross in this world (Mat 16, 24), which men have willingly delivered to the evil one. He died for our sins!

The Cross thus encompass all the life of Christ, and it’s not a single, separate (though, materially, it is the culminating) moment of His redemption of mankind. In other words, Gethsemane and Golgotha are not separate, they constitute the same Cross, so that the specious polemics about the imagined heresy contained in the work of the ever-memorable Metropolitan Anthony of Kiev are just a waste of time, with all their trawl of braided misunderstandings.

To be sure, the Metropolitan’s work contains not a few flaws:

  • we are not guilty for the sin of Adam, but we inherit that sin, in our flesh; our flesh is not only the body, but also what make it a living body, the soul; our soul is however a living (and rational <= logos provided) soul too, by the Spirit breathed in us by God, whereby able to be a bridge between the body and the Spirit, so that it can bear the imprint of the Eternal; if our will (our existence) directs and uses the soul just as a bridge to the world, then man abdicate his kingship, to become only the most sophisticated and the most stupid of the animals at the same time, bartering the image of God for that of the Beast;
  • in Adam all have sinned because our flesh bears the mark of that sin, which make impossible for us to avoid sinning in our life in this world; the Son of God took our flesh from a Virgin just to redeem it, for only He could live in that flesh sinless and overcome the world, so being a ransom for many (all those who believe in Him) in His Body;
  • the regenerative principle in man is exactly the same as the generative principle of his living soul: the Holy Spirit; the love of Christ in His suffering for a fallen mankind and complete obedience in our flesh to God unto death, even the death on the cross, is the conduit through which the Holy Spirit proceeds anew to many (all those who believe in Him), through His Body; the fuse which ignite the regenerative principle is Faith.
  • the fulfilment by Christ of all righteousness is not secondary at all;
  • man is the union of a living soul and a body, perfectly united, with no confusion, no separation, so that there are no torments not shared by both in this life;
  • it is not correct to dismiss entirely His impending death when explaining the exceedingly sorrowful state of the Lord in Gethsemane, lest you dismiss the supreme podvig of the Son of Man: even knowing that death had no power over Him, death is a traumatic experience for every man, even that Man, above all for that Man, the Sinless One; for that death (with its outline of humiliations and sufferings) was the only unjust one, death having no power over Him; yet He had to suffer it as a necessary step in the fulfilment of His ministry; for that hour He had come unto the world, to die for our sins;
  • the comparison with the martyrs’ suffering is baseless, as Christ was without sin;
  • the idea of the sufferings of Christ as a sacrifice to the devil is pure silliness, bordering on blasphemy, and should not even be mentioned; the sacrifice of Christ is offered to God, out of infinite love for Him and His will: the salvation of man in the only way fit for the image of God, through his free will;
  • His death was necessary to destroy death (our fear of death, which put us in bondage to this world and his prince), with His Resurrection.

These flaws are anyway nothing in comparison to the fluffy intellectual slime produced by some of his critics, the usual legends in their own mind, who at time seem to be unaware that, without Christ, the cross is just a massive piece of wood and blood a commodity.

Metropolitan Anthony was fighting heresies, not producing them. His laudable struggle has not been devoid of imperfections, but it’s surely well grounded in the Orthodox understanding of our redemption, contrariwise to the outright heresies which were being taught into Orthodox academies so-called. Heresies so dear to the debauched future betrayers of the Tsar, still unrepentant thereafter, because in them they fancies about finding cloaks for their sins.

The fears and the reserves of blessed Seraphim of Platina about degenerates appropriating the work of Metropolitan Anthony to advance their filthy compromises with the spirit of the world, partially justified also by not always proper examples and language used by Vladika, were not without merit, but futile nevertheless: the devil used the Scripture to tempt the Lord, and his progeny always slither around the Scripture to take cover for their abomination; go figure what they are willing and capable to do with non-Scripture. What should we do? Stay silent? They would then use that silence in their slanderous theomachy.

The culminating moment of His Cross, His death on Golgotha, meant the destruction of death, because the perfect man (as Adam was called to be) is immune to its clutches.

The fallen man must die in order to avoid the perpetuation of evil and his perennial abode in sin. Death is a decree of mercy and imperium at the same time by God.

The perfect man had to die in order to be resurrected.

Christ, though sinless, had to die as a man in order to be resurrected, in the body, and free us from the bondage which subjects this world, because of the Fall, to the evil one, a bondage aptly summed up in a few words: the fear of death!

And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

A sacrifice was necessary, indeed, the supreme sacrifice, offered to God for us, but to the satisfaction of nobody but us, our need to repent and atone for our sins, atonement made possible only by Him and through Him; and only in the measure that this satisfaction of our vital (in the true sense) needs is the good pleasure of God, then, to the satisfaction of God.

A sacrifice suffered by the Lord God, for thus it becometh Christ to fulfil all righteousness (Mat 3, 14), as divinely teached by St. Paul in his epistle to the Hebrew,

Death ought to be destroyed, but only in a way preserving our free choice, to join the Way (and this means the Cross in this world), teached by the Truth, to Life everlasting.

The perfect man was also the perfect God, because only the Son incarnated could accomplish that complete, voluntary and self-denying obedience.

No man after the Fall could do it.

As you know, the fall of logical beings, both angels and people, occurred through rebellion. When Christ came to bring back into balance that which had fallen, he did not deign, nor provide nor attempt nor decide to make that return by any other gate but that of obedience.

When Christ came, He had the power, as Lord of all to alter even the law of creation, because “He spoke and they were born, He commanded and they were made”. He is the craftsman. And yet, to prove the perfection of His Godly magnificence, He indicated that there should be a return to where the fall occurred. He was forced, therefore, to take on our own nature, to undergo a kind of selflessness that’s inconceivable for the thought process of logical beings and to persuade us, in practice, that our restitution could only succeed in this way.

Venerable Joseph of Vatopaidi

The perfect God had to become a man, because it was man who did need His salvation.

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

That glorification, in absolute humility, obedience and submission (to God, not to men), restored to mankind the Way shown by the Truth to Life, a hope of salvation.

Just a hope, as man must still choose, every man. God cannot deny Himself.

Life eternal is the Faith in a faithful God and His Son, His Word, the Conveyor of His Holy Spirit: our Lord Jesus Christ!

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Why did Christ say the words: ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me’?

April 16, 2018

For it was meet that the Christ of God would accomplish all righteousness (Mat 3, 13-15).

Whereby the Giver of the Law submitted to all rituals and requirements of the Law, and the Word of Truth suffered all that was prophesied about Him.

Christ was quoting the first words of Psalm 21, which contains a prophesy about the humiliation and suffering of the Holy One of Israel. You can appreciate the astonishing precision of the words used by king David: he uses the exact words that the chief priests and the Pharisee did utter in mocking the Lord at His Golgotha, he describes exactly what the soldiers did with the garments of the Lord, and the excruciating dislocations upon the body’s limbs and the pain caused by the cross, and all the wounds inflicted upon Him.

Christ was telling them once more that they had not known the time of their visitation, that they were crucifying the Lord of Glory. Alas, there were no ears to hear!

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. 

But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly. Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Seest thou how they labour for the truth against their will?

April 10, 2018

For they themselves came to Pilate, themselves asked, themselves sealed, setting the watch, so as to be accusers, and refuters one of another. And indeed when should they have stolen Him? on the Sabbath? And how? for it was not lawful so much as to go out. And even if they transgressed the law, how should they have dared, who were so timid, to come forth? And how could they also have been able to persuade the multitude? By saying what? By doing what? And from what sort of zeal could they have stood in behalf of the dead? expecting what recompense? what requital? Seeing Him yet alive and merely seized, they had fled; and after His death were they likely to speak boldly in His behalf, unless He had risen again? And how should these things be reasonable? For that they were neither willing nor able to feign a resurrection that did not take place, is plain from hence. He discoursed to them of a resurrection, and continually said, as indeed these very men have stated, “After three days I rise again.” If therefore He rose not again, it is quite clear that these men (having been deceived and made enemies to an entire nation for His sake, and come to be without home and without city) would have abhorred Him, and would not have been willing to invest Him with such glory; as having been deceived, and having fallen into the utmost dangers on His account. For that they would not even have been able, unless the resurrection had been true, to feign it, this does not so much as need reasoning.

For in what were they confident? In the shrewdness of their reasonings? Nay of all men they were the most unlearned. But in the abundance of their possessions? Nay, they neither had staff nor shoes. But in the distinction of their race? Nay, they were mean, and of mean ancestors. But in the greatness of their country? Nay, they were of obscure places. But in their own numbers? Nay, they were not more than eleven, and they were scattered abroad. But in their Master’s promises? What kind of promises? For if He were not risen again, neither would those be likely to be trusted by them. And how should they endure a frantic people. For if the chief of them endured not the speech of a woman, keeping the door, and if all the rest too, on seeing Him bound, were scattered abroad, how should they have thought to run to the ends of the earth, and plant a feigned tale of a resurrection? For if he stood not a woman’s threat, and they not so much the sight of bonds, how were they able to stand against kings, and rulers, and nations, where were swords, and gridirons, and furnaces, and ten thousand deaths by day, unless they had the benefit of the power and grace of Him who rose again? Such miracles and so many were done, and none of these things did the Jews regard, but crucified Him Who had done them, and were they likely to believe these men at their mere word about a resurrection? These things are not, they are not so, but the might of Him Who rose again brought them to pass.

People lie to obtain some sort of profit or to hide their shame. They do not lie to get insults, hard life, persecutions, unspeakable tortures and horrible deaths.

C H R I S T     I S     R I S E N ,    I N D E E D ! ! !

If any man be devout and loveth God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast! If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord.

If any have laboured long in fasting, let him how receive his recompense. If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast. If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; Because he shall in nowise be deprived therefore. If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing. And if any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness.

For the Lord, who is jealous of his honour, will accept the last even as the first. He giveth rest unto him who cometh at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who hath wrought from the first hour.

And He showeth mercy upon the last, and careth for the first; And to the one He giveth, and upon the other He bestoweth gifts. And He both accepteth the deeds, and welcometh the intention, and honoureth the acts and praises the offering.

Wherefore, enter ye all into the joy of your Lord; Receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second. You rich and poor together, hold high festival! You sober and you heedless, honour the day! Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away. Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness.

Let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal Kingdom has been revealed. Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Saviour’s death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it.

By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered when it encountered Thee in the lower regions.

It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

O Death, where is thy sting? O Hell, where is thy victory?

Christ is risen, and thou art overthrown! Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen! Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is risen, and life reigns! Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages.
Amen.

St. John Chrysostom

THE HOLY PASCHA OF THE LORD

April 2, 2018

The Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem. Decani, Serbia. Fragment of fresco.

Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he was hungry. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And at once the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, the first.

Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it, but the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.Last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, this is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They saith unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teach the way of God in truth, neither care thou for any man: for thou regard not the person of men. Tell us therefore, what think thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Show me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a denarius. And he said unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then said he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no offspring, left his wife unto his brother. Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, the LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither dared any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying: the scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall see me no more, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso read, let him understand), then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains. Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house, neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day.

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.

Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delays his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looks not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with interest. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples,  Ye know that after two days is the feast of the  Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he enter in. And ye shall say unto the master of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

When the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Behold, the hand of him that betrayed me is with me on the table. And truly the Son of man goes, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.

There was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

For whether is greater, he that sit at meat, or he that serve? is not he that sit at meat? but I am among you as he that serve. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father. Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father? They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.

Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me? Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man can take from you. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou loved me before the foundation of the world.

O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the Brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.

And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus often resorted thither with his disciples. Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.

Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not. And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.

The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spoke openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so? Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me? Now Annas sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.

And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not. One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.

Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; but found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, and said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace.

And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.

Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the Passover.

Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.

Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die.

Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate said unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and said unto them, I find in him no fault at all. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and said unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate said unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate said unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.

When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.

When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was:

JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.

This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which said, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the spirit.

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

The Jews then, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture said, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

When the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

Then Mary Magdalene runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.

And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.

Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and said unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. Simon Peter said unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.

This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.

So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He said unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He said unto him, Feed my lambs. He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He said unto him, Feed my sheep. He said unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus said unto him, Feed my sheep.

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou was young, thou girdest thyself, and walked whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he said unto him, Follow me.

Then Peter, turning about, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him said to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus said unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

This is the disciple which testifies of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Resurrection

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

March 28, 2018

FATHER PETER HEERS

This story has so much to teach us all – but especially Orthodox bishops and priests. In this video one sees the marvelous response of God to one man’s determined and pained search for spiritual health and healing and his simple and humble acceptance of the providence of God.

Seraphim was born, baptized, confirmed and raised as a Lutheran, although a nominal observer, who later, for lack of fulfillment and meaning in his life, sought out eastern religious experiences. After passing through much suffering and pain as a result of opening himself up to the spirits present in these religions, the Mother of God herself visited Him and revealed to him the truth of Christ and the Church.

Initially received by chrismation, but not being healed of his spiritual ills, he was led again by God to a mountain monastery in Romania where he finally found freedom, healing and new life in Christ in Baptism – and where he finally, experientially understood «what this Orthodoxy is all about!»

This is a message that every Orthodox shepherd of souls needs to listen to attentively, for it comes from a man in search of healing for his soul – totally unaffected by, or even aware of, ecclesiastical politics, ecumenical perceptions or theories, or canonical or pastoral justifications of oikonomia.

A SINNER

This story is just a story about a man, and it does not signify anything at all. There are countless men baptized in the Orthodox Church who do not find freedom, healing and a new life in Christ afterward. Applying the same sick logic, we should find fault in the Baptism….. God forbid!!!

When a man is grafted lawfully in the Body of Christ, that is, according to the judgement of the ruling hierarch (even if that judgement is not correct, the hierarch will answer for it, not the man, who will belong to the Church nevertheless), that man is the only responsible for his lack of good fruits and worthy labors of repentance. Most of time, it happens because he is at fault in his discernment of the Body and the Blood of Christ; in particular cases, this sprouts out of monumental pride concealed in fake humility and zeal, as with this poor girl.

There are no magic rituals in the Church. As much as rituals are very important, no ritual will save you. The Pharisees performed perfectly all the rituals prescribed, rituals which had their foundation in God’s command as ours have; yet those bearers of rituals brought to maniacal exactitude crucified the Lord of Glory.

Chrismation is the seal of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the very thing who is missing in all the Christian ecclesial forms which plague this world: they have the water and they have the words (in most cases), as a corpse has still the form of a man; what they lack is the Spirit who enlivens and sanctifies the water and the words.

For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.

Baptism is the rebirth in the Lord; Chrismation is the baptism of the Holy Spirit; Eucharist is the direct and continuous nurture of the Holy Spirit through the Body and Blood of the Lord. The Church unites the three rituals in one: Baptism is immediately followed by Chrismation, and soon after comes the Eucharist; three distinct aspects of one ritual, with no confusion and no separation, in the same wise of the Most Holy Trinity, our God.

The partaking of divinity is not BY rituals, but THROUGH rituals, just like our spirit operates through the body, not by the body, and is not constrained by the body.  What sanctifies and saves is He who operates into the rituals. These fruitless polemics can be loved only by those who apparently think that in the Body of Christ you can have the Father without the Son or the Son without the Holy Spirit or the Holy Spirit without the Father, and so on and so forth, depending on some features and forms of the Body.

Water can be missing, but it’s not missing He Who sanctifies the water. Water can be missing because it already was, as the words already were, but above all because the aim is the sanctification of the man received in the Church, not of the water. This must never be forgotten, to avoid that simpletons come out claiming that, then, you can have Eucharist without the bread and the wine.

Sealed by the Holy Spirit, in the lawful judgement of the local bishop, in whom resides the power to loose and bind in earth as in heaven, a man belongs to the fullness of the Church, and let whoever denies it be anathema! What that man will do with that privilege is then something who depends ENTIRELY on him: he may also despise the Holy Spirit claiming that after His seal he still misses something to be a saint. What he lacks, instead, is a proper discernment of the Body of Christ, a discernment drowned in his poorly disguised haughtiness and in his worshipping of his feelings. Be assured that his feelings ARE NOT what Orthodoxy is all about: the Lord is!

In my poor understanding, the lawful judgement is missing in the local bishop if he receives heterodoxes without chrismation, which is always necessary. Through repentance and confession, only those who already belonged to the Church and were led astray may be accepted back. Yet even in this case, nobody should dare to claim that the heretics thus received do not belong to the fullness of the Church, as their nourishment with the Body and the Blood of the Lord will give them His Spirit too.

Divine power is the only power which cannot be abused, so that an unlawful judgement by the ruling hierarch, being an abuse of his power to bind and to loose, will not affect the receptacle of that judgement, and will stay entirely upon the shoulders of the bishop. It’s the main reason why the Church offers unceasing prayers for the ruling hierarchs. It is also the reason why unworthy bishops and priests cannot defile the Sacraments they perform.

I pray earnestly that father Peter will draw back from that slippery and extremely dangerous slope, as it is the straightest path to the abyss. He should rather concentrate his admirable efforts in the blessed fight against the pan-heresy of ecumenism toward the return to the Church Calendar, whose forsaking is a much more serious rift in the communion of the faithful than the different praxis in receiving heretics, as testified by the pitiful state of those jurisdictions still bowing down to the masonic coup of 1920.

Amen!

ESCHATON

March 3, 2018

This is a very interesting essay, but in my poor understanding it contains some major flaws. The consequence is that the author’s conclusions resemble dangerously those imagined in “River of Fire” by Kalomiros, so dear to all the snowflakes of Orthodisneyland. It’s a pity, as he is one of the soundest philosophical minds out there today, and he can surely do better than that evolutionist and (squared) schismatic.

The problem with him is that he puts his mind as the foundation in the path to the truth, just the fault he masterfully expose in his critic of the Western theological drift. He avoids that drift, just because he stays anchored to the Scripture and the holy Fathers, yet that is done out of love for his mind, not for the Truth. He’s come to the Church to satiate his mind, so that his mind, not crucified, will keep him fundamentally unchurched.

When he will understand that it’s humility to make you great in the eyes of the Lord, he will come and learn the Truth. Until then, the Truth will resist him, so that he will stay confined in that unsuspected place where very talented morons are found: a sound (carnal) mind.

First of all, he does not grasp fully that the nature of man is in the image of God; that means the incoercible freedom of his will. Therefore the restoration of human nature by Christ operates only in potency; to be fulfilled in act it needs the cooperation of the single man, and so it will be even in the eschaton: the unity of God in all with all will concern only those who have believed and struggled to live in His mode of being. God does not unite with evil, nor those who have rejected him will be allowed in the new heavens and earth, because they would not simply suffer the love of God: they would start their theomachy anew.

The resurrection in their bodies will happen because as men they rejected God and as men they will be judged. A man is not without his body. Their resurrection will be one of condemnation though, not unto Life (Whom they have rejected) but unto the second death. The Lord will resurrect unto Life the faithful in that Day (John 6, 40).

Note also that the Lord says “Depart from me, you cursed, you workers of iniquity…”, an exclamation of Imperium, which exclude any free adherence by them; au contraire, they plead with Him. There wouldn’t be any free departure by them; having the possiblity, they would stay attached gladly to the blessings of God and His works, and keep their fighting against Him. But history is accomplished that Day, there’s no place for them in the Eschaton.

In fact, Hell (as Heaven) is a place not less than a state (of separation from God). Time and space will not disappear in the Eschaton, they will be simply transfigured, ceasing to be separation, limitation and change: any Creation presupposes them, the Word of God speaks first of all by measure, duration, difference and distance. On these commands preside space and time, which are therefore surely related in inextricable symbiosis, but just as surely not in the way imagined by that demented Einstein. They are always certain and absolute, always interrelated but never interchangeable, and never one influences or invades the other’s sphere.

The author also neglects totally the fundamental salvific nature of the Sacraments, available exclusively in the mystical Body of Christ: the Church. That is absolutely unacceptable in Orthodoxy, ça va sans dire!

Moreover, the unequivocal teaching of the Church is that there is no repentance after death, as there cannot be present any faith there; therefore, all of the holy fathers’ writings MUST BE interpreted in accordance with this teaching.

Expounding on this truth, there are tons of consequences which may be extracted.

Give me the words, o Lord, if they are Thine;

Give them me not, if they are mine.

The Gospel may be indeed still be preached to the dead, but exclusively to those who have not had any hint of Him; these cases have grown exceedingly residual after the descent of the Lord in Hades and with the passage of time since then.

It’s preferable to say that the dead are remembered by the Lord, provided that they do not belong to the number of those who have no excuses (Rom 1, 18-20 / John 15, 22-24).

Those who have lived with the fear of God, even if not having a true understanding of Him; those who had His law written in their heart, even if not consciously knowing Him; those who have loved the Lord and His statutes, even if in a knowledge distorted by false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothes; those who have confessed Him, even if in the error where they were born, to the face of this world constantly at war with God; all of them cannot possibly be forgotten by the Lord.

Whoever has believed in Christ and has confessed Him to be the Son of God and the Saviour of mankind has eternal life (John 3, 16 and 36). With this confession, baptized in the name of the Triune God (even if through a mere sacramental form), having build their life upon this foundation, they will be saved, yet so as through fire (1 Cor 3, 10-15), as their works have been spoiled by false teachers and the snares of the devil, who rules this world through his progeny. They will not suffer the sin of false shepherds and archons of Satan.

 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the sin against the Truth. We know Who is the Truth. The supreme blasphemy is the negation of Christ as the Son of God (in words or in deeds), and it cannot possibly apply to our dear brothers confessing Him in truth, yet in the error they have inherited.

Though, their works will not be able to resist the testing of fire, as only the belonging to the Body of Christ gives the ability to produce true work of faith and repentance, because only that Body (the Church, the One Church, the Orthodox Church) is enlivened directly by the Holy Spirit, and only that Body can thus dispense directly His Grace, through real Sacraments, not mere sacramental forms. Nevertheless, they will not lose the salvation of their faith and confession in Christ.

It must be emphasized here that also the belonging to the Body of Christ must be lived in spirit and truth. It’s not a question of the right certificate of baptism. Members of the Church will lose the Truth they have inherited or acquired, if they fail in their right work as cells of the Body of Christ; then, they will become malignant cells, tumors, but in the Body of Life it’s the tumors to die. They will die slowly, eating and drinking of their condemnation.

Orthodox Christians can be sure of only one thing: they will receive a stricter examination, as they could partake of the fullness of the Truth. The “cradle Orthodox” will receive the strictest. The most awful judgement is reserved to those who soiled the Sacred Orders with the teachings of this world. Outside the Church there is no salvation, for those who belonged to the Church.

Indeed, many Orthodox Christians will also suffer loss at the Day, being saved as through fire. The purification by fire serves to ensure that in the Kingdom not even a chance to choose evil will enter.

Yet, Orthodox Christians are immeasurably helped in their task to save themselves, by the Sacraments and the unceasing prayers of the Church. The Sacraments (that is, the Grace and the Power of God) can be dispensed directly only in the Body of Christ, because only through the Son (His Word) the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father to the created realm (altough, the Body does not delimit nor constrain the Spirit).

They are divinely nourished in the Sacraments, partaking even materially of the Divinity in the Eucharist (provided that they discern the Body and the Blood of the Lord, there are no magic rituals in the Church; that discernment is the approach with faith and fear of God). This undescribable privilege will accompany them even when they depart from this world, when they are remembered in the bloodless Sacrifice during the Liturgy, a more powerful help than the direct intercessions of the thriumphant Saints. Moreover, the Body will remind their needs to the Head all the time, and the Head loves His Body and take care of all its legitimate needs.

All of this is not available to our dear brothers, born in the error, and it’s immediately understandable why their path toward the salvation is much more difficult and thorny, why their works very often do not stand even here, why they are able to offer so little resistance to the machinations of the devil and the countless deceits of his progeny, the satanists who by now openly rule this world.

Nevertheless, they are not excluded from the salvific prayers of the Church, and every Orthodox Christian is a member of the Church (and is the Church, in a certain sense, the temple of the Holy Spirit). Therefore, they can be greatly helped in the time preceding the Last Judgement (eternity is for the age to come) by the prayers of every pious Orthodox Christian (by the prayers of every righteous man, indeed, but it is a certain thing that only in the Church is found the correct prayer <= the correct way, mode and discernment in prayer).

The Lord loves His children, and hearkens to their supplication, if they do not ask amiss. So much so that they can help not only our dear brothers, born in the error, but even those who do not confess Him, yet living with the fear of God.

Indeed, they may be able to even alleviate the torments of those who are suffering in hell in the current age, as it was revealed to St, Macarius the Great. Prayer and fasting subdue the demons and shatter their bonds, thus the Lord has said, and His word cannot be broken; there is no reason to restrain the effects of those powerful weapons to those who are still in this world; opposite, in my poor understanding, that constrain would be a heretical teaching.

Indeed, the compassion and the prayers of St. Gregory the Great delivered the emperor Trajan from hell, and he was a persecutor of Christians (though mildly, as he had a sense of righteousness).  Indeed, a strict and reiterated fasting, united with fervent prayers, once delivered a suicide from hell.

All the children of the Church have to do is to have faith as little as a mustard seed!

Another powerful mean of helping the departed is almsgiving on their behalf. Broadly speaking, the faithful can do all sort of works of repentance on behalf of the departed. St. Paul even speaks of those baptized for the dead (1 Cor 15, 29). Yet, I find it not wise to delve unto these misteries to satisfy our vain and prideful mind: it is not only not profitable, but it could be extremely dangerous to pretend further in the exclusive domain of God.

Christ has been very parsimonious in His teachings regarding the afterlife for a reason, for the same reason that you cannot repent after death: once you know, faith has no place anymore; but salvation is in your faith, not in your knowledge.

The Lord will have mercy on whom He will have mercy. My faith is in the Lord!

Nei giorni in cui la Tua Chiesa ricorda alla Tua misericordia i suoi figli, o Signore, osero’ ricordarTi anche tutti coloro che son dipartiti da questo mondo lontani dalla Tua Grazia, privati dei salvifici misteri del Tuo Corpo, e magari con terribili peccati a gravare la loro coscienza, non riconosciuti, ne’ confessati.

Nel Tuo buon piacere, Signore, nella Tua infinita bonta’ e misericordia, nella Tua assoluta sovranita’, ricordati Ti prego anche di loro e abbi misericordia. Tu che ti sei degnato di prendere la nostra stessa carne e conosci fino in fondo la nostra miseria e debolezza, Tu che hai voluto subire fino in fondo la nostra iniquita’ solo per restituirci una speranza di salvezza, Tu che hai camminato e sofferto nell’inganno che domina interamente questo mondo, considera che in quello stesso inganno loro nacquero, da quell’inganno furono cresciuti ed in quell’inganno son morti, ed abbi misericordia di loro.

Signore di ogni misericordia, Tu che chiedesti misericordia perfino per chi ti stava inchiodando alla Croce, ricordati Ti prego anche di loro ed abbi misericordia. Nega al maligno, o Signore, il bottino che pensa di aver cosi’ indegnamente guadagnato, concedigli come compagni nel fato di distruzione che si e’ scelto solo coloro che lo hanno servito consapevolmente, i bestemmiatori dello Spirito Santo. A tutti gli altri, o Signore ti prego, degnati di concedere, nei tempi e nei modi che solo Tu conosci, la tua parola di salvezza.

Non per la preghiera di un miserabile, o Signore, ma per l’intercessione della Tua purissima Madre e di tutti i Tuoi santi. Amen!

SAN CASTRESE

February 24, 2018

Per le sacre preghiere di san Castrese, Signore, di cui indegnamente porto il nome, abbi misericordia di me, che sono un peccatore e la mia miseria e’ grande.

San Castrese

Santo gerarca Castrese, due volte martire di Cristo sotto l’empia progenie di Ario, la prima volta venendo preservato da un angelo che guido’ una nave sfasciata e senza timone dalle sponde africane a quelle del Volturno, onde insieme ai tuoi compagni di martirio potessi rafforzare la Parola tra i fedeli in quelle terre, ascolta le preghiere dalle citta’ che ti onorano come patrono ed intercedi presso il Signore per noi.

IL RESTO DEL RESTO

February 18, 2018

Siamo ponti che uniscono due estremita’ del nulla?

Grondanti un arcano significato, inciampiamo tra meraviglia e dolore, con buona creanza dando senso alla fatica di Sisifo.

Ti svelai nelle Tue opere! E per la luce e la terra, e per l’acqua e l’aria, Ti resi grazie.

Ma quando fui sulle mie ginocchia, ricevesti un sorriso beffardo, nell’insensata superbia di chi vive sapendo di dover morire.

Ci consola lo specchiarci negli occhi di un figlio, negli anni in cui il frutto e’ acerbo, prima della sua caduta. E li’ annegare!

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.

Poi Ti ho sentito, Signore; nell’aridita’ miserabile del mio deserto, nella cacofonia del mio spirito, nonostante avessi sperperato come bronzo risonante ogni talento ricevuto, Ti ho sentito.

Nella mia quieta disperazione, Ti ho sentito; senza aver meriti ai Tuoi occhi, tra le eco assordanti della mia vanita’ ed orgoglio, nei fumi della mia vana rabbia per le opere del nemico, li’ Ti ho sentito. Avrai misericordia, Signore?

Poiche’ meriti continuo a non averne, e la mia fede somiglia tanto a sete di giustizia. Avrai misericordia, Signore?

Noi siamo quelli che credono senza comprendere, avviluppati nei lacci di questo mondo, il nostro rifiuto non serve a negarlo come unica realta’ che capiamo. Avrai misericordia, Signore? Non siamo santi e mai lo saremo; avrai misericordia, Signore?

La mia croce e’ stata solo quella di sentirmi sempre un estraneo ovunque abbia vissuto, perfino a casa mia. Ero muto quando ascoltavano ed erano sordi quando ho parlato, Signore. Una croce piccola e leggera, e pure non riesco a sopportarla; avrai misericordia, Signore?

Io son quello che con due monete in tasca Te ne da’ solo una, li’ fuori la chiesa. Avrai misericordia? Non ho molto, ma non ho mai avuto bisogno di niente, e pure con due monete Te ne do’ solo una. Proprio li’, fuori la chiesa. Avrai misericordia, Signore? Per chi non riesce a credere che il resto gli sara’ dato in aggiunta, Signore,  avrai misericordia?

Per tutte le volte che non troviamo le parole, per tutte le volte in cui la nostra preghiera e’ muta, prosciugata dall’aridita’ del nostro cuore, avrai misericordia? Tu che sai quello che vogliamo dire anche se non sappiamo dirlo, Signore, avrai misericordia? Quando nella nostra vergogna non riusciremo ad alzare gli occhi di fronte a Te, nell’ora in cui moriremo….. avrai misericordia, Signore?

Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Abbi misericordia, o Signore!

Noi siamo quelli che ammaestrati dal diavolo hanno creduto in Dio. Siamo quelli a cui la Parola e’ nascosta o distorta in ogni modo, a cui l’esempio e’ negato, negato da ogni respiro del mondo. Abbi misericordia, Signore.

Noi siamo quelli ammazzati nell’anima a milioni, ovunque nel mondo, e non vi son segni che accompagnino questo martirio. Siamo quelli calunniati ed esclusi per amor Tuo, e non riusciamo a gioire per questo. Siamo quelli che non vedono fratelli quando si guardano intorno. Abbi misericordia, Signore.

Noi siamo quelli che credono per il semplice fatto di riuscire a credere, nonostante tutto, tutto cio’ che poteva essere e non e’ stato, tutto cio’ che e’ stato e non doveva essere. Noi siamo quelli che hanno visto e pure han creduto, quelli che qui mai Ti vedranno e mai neppure han tentato. Noi siamo il resto del resto. Abbi misericordia, Signore.

Noi siamo quelli che dimenticano che la vendetta e’ Tua, Signore, e la desiderano; invano, poiche’ la rabbia degli uomini non e’ la giustizia di Dio. Solo Tu ripagherai! Siam quelli che fissano l’abisso nel loro cuore e pure non disperano. Noi siamo il resto del resto. Abbi misericordia, Signore.

Noi siamo i codardi che pretendono di amarTi e Ti chiedono di non mandar loro prove che ritengono insuperabili. Siamo i miserabili che giudicano Pietro e Tommaso nella comodita’ del loro divano, siamo dell’empia stirpe di chi ritiene che avrebbe creduto prima e meglio degli apostoli, avessi Tu camminato in mezzo a noi e non a loro. Noi siamo il resto del resto. Abbi misericordia, Signore.

Noi siam quelli che si chiedono quanto l’uomo sia davvero libero, siamo i comprensivi giudici di noi stessi e gli implacabili accusatori degli altri. Noi siamo quelli che non riescono a darTi neppure il poco che hanno deciso di offrirti, quelli incapaci di mettere ordine in casa loro che pretendono di mettere a posto il mondo. Noi siamo il resto del resto. Abbi misericordia, Signore.

 

Poiche’ questa e’ la fede che troverai, Signore, quando verrai di nuovo, finalmente in gloria.

Una fede stropicciata e rammendata, strenuamente ricordata. Stanca oltre ogni dire, asfissiata per legge, insultata per vezzo. Raggomitolata in se stessa, mai consolata se non da se stessa. Impossibilitata a colpire ed incapace di arrendersi, priva di miracoli ed un miracolo lei stessa.

Un’assurdita’ probabilistica, Signore, come ogni vita che Ti neghi come causa.

Questa e’ la fede che troverai. Una fede che e’ brace opaca, non fiamma potente, ma e’ brace conservata nel gelo. Abbi misericordia, Signore.

Ciuffi d’erba e non messi rigogliose troverai, ma e’ erba che ha spaccato il cemento. Piccole gocce d’acqua e non fonti zampillanti, ma gocce che si son fatte strada nelle rocce del deserto. Abbi misericordia, Signore.

Una fede pugnalata incessantemente alle spalle mentre le sorridono, che e’ sopravvisuta a tutti gli assassini.

Questo e’ cio’ che rimane, il resto del resto. Abbi misericordia, Signore.

Poiche’ amiamo i nostri nemici, Signore, al punto da non ricordarne alcuno, ma odiamo i Tuoi nemici, con un odio perfetto. Poiche’ non ci lamenteremo se darai la paga anche a chi nella vigna non e’ mai venuto a lavorarci. Poiche’ ringrazieremmo Dio anche se questa fosse l’unica vita donataci. Abbi misericordia, Signore.

 

Siamo ponti che uniscono la terra al Cielo, che principiano dal nulla in direzione del Tutto, fatti dal niente e sospesi sul niente, tra vertigini di potere e sconforto quella direzione e’ l’unica cosa che ci mantiene.

Non e’ semplice, o Signore, anche solo capire che non e’ necessario capire, e solo aver fede….. abbi misericordia.

Per i vivi e per i morti, Signore, abbi misericordia.

Per tutti coloro che furono, sono e saranno ingannati, Signore, abbi misericordia.

Per tutti quelli trascinati a fondo dai lacci di questo mondo, Signore, abbi misericordia.

Abbi misericordia di noi peccatori, Figlio di Dio, Tu che puoi tutto: abbi misericordia di noi.

GOD IS WITH US

January 7, 2018

“Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel

“Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us (Immanuel)”

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse (the father of king David) and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord”

“Behold My servant, whom I uphold; Mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put My spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street… A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench”

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek;’ he hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound”

“And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth”

THE HOLY PROPHET ISAIAH

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

C H R I S T     I S     B O R N  !         G L O R I F Y     H I M  !

Nativity

“To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness

Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him to whom we have to give account.

In truth God as a man was born on earth! Why? That we might live through him (1 John 4:9).

GOD DOES NOT LISTEN TO SINNERS

May 16, 2018

Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.

Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?

Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.

The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.

Yes you are right, formerly blind man, right a thousand times over that “God does not listen to sinners” (Jn. 9:31)! He does not listen and does not obey those unrepentant obstinate ones who do not wish to bow their heads before Him, and try to incline God Himself to fulfill their requests. A wise parent does not cave in to the manipulations of a spoiled child, no matter how sweetly he sings. Much less so the Giver of wisdom, our Father.

God does not listen to sinners also because they are directing their requests, apparently, not entirely to Him. Or entirely not to Him. Their god is their belly (Phil. 3:19), or mammon, or something else. This “something” occupies the central place in their lives. They made an idol their god, and as a result, the true God is for them something like an idol, useful only for providing them a set of religious services should they need them: help in becoming healthy, success in business, help in casting a spell, and so on. Why should God heed those requests that are directed essentially not to Him but to a mythical being of an incomparably lower order?

God does not hear sinners who insist that He hear them while they themselves shut up their own ears. So why should He listen to them if He can’t answer them, if that person is not waiting for an answer, if dialogue is simply not under consideration? Moreover that person doesn’t want an answer! A god who silently fulfills requests is much more convenient and practical.

God does not hear sinners also because their prayers are often vain and their requests selfish—not for the good, but in order to use it for their own lusts (cf. Js. 4:3). They ask for health not intending to use it for the glory of God. They ask for money without any thought of almsgiving. They ask for children without thinking about raising them in faith and piety.

God does not hear sinners, for they do not know what they want. Their desires are not far-seeing and if they come into being can cause harm. But at the time they do not know about this and continue to ask, ask, ask. Of course a normal father will not give his children a snake when they want a fish (cf. Lk. 11:11–13). But what if they insistently ask for a snake?

God does not listen to sinners. But this does not mean that He doesn’t hear them. He hears them; but will a doctor listen to a patient’s feverish delirium? No, He has no time for that! And no reason to do so—he has to cure him! Right away! When the fever has passed the speech will be healthy, and reasonableness will appear in it. Then he can listen, for The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears shall attend unto their supplications (Ps. 33:15). But until then, God does not listen to sinners, but He has not turned away from them—no, He has not turned away.

Again and again you are right, blind man, for God does not hear even sinners who are repenting! He does not pay heed to their timid “Father, I have sinned against heaven…” He does not ask any questions but embraces them, kisses them, dresses them in clean garments, takes them into His house and has a feast (cf. Lk. 15:17–24).

Father Leonid Kudryachov

ERA SOLO UN CRICETO

May 14, 2018

Ma un criceto che ho chiamato Peppino, Signore.

A WOLF IN SAKER FEATHERS

May 7, 2018

Many would think that the Saker is just an impenitent spiritual idiot, with a congenital idiosincracy in his perennial failure to understand the difference between the Church and the (many) unworthy men who (often) may rise to the top of her hierarchies.

He is specialized in loquacious plausible yada-yada, always hinting to his vast knowledge of Christianity and perpetually failing to show it off (apart from inconsequential and random quotes, taken from the Scripture or the holy fathers out of their context), whose magniloquent vacuity may be able to deceive babes in Christ, but are exposed by just a modicum of spiritual discernment for what they are: the empty lies of the ancient malice, who is a liar even when saying something true.

In my poor understanding, I would rather characterize him as the core of one of the most sophisticated operation of counterintelligence ever conceived.

It’s hardly believable that someone could be so stupid for so long.

It’s even more unbelievable that someone could really be deceived by his subtle and shameful suggestion of a substantial parification between the Moscow Patriarchate and the organization headed by Denisenko. Alas, in Christ we know how eager are men to be deceived if the delusion fits their lusts.

In any case, the Saker is an impenitent schismatic, hell-bent on sowing confusion, division and strife in the Church, using men weakness as a pretext and masquerading his theomachy under a fake thirst for righteousness. His path leads to the abyss. He means anathema to every Christian.

 

LA SALUTE AL TEMPO DELLA DEMONOCRAZIA SANITARIA

May 4, 2018

Cosi’ e’ se ci pare

Proprio cosi’ e’ se ci pare

Mutatis Mutandis

A NUN IN HER OWN MIND

April 30, 2018

Vassa the accursed keeps on giving free vent to her base itches. This time she vomits her vacuous rants against the Church accusing her to resist the Holy Spirit, as the Church does not allow women to serve the Altar of the Most High arbitrarily, she says, just out of caprice in short, not because of the constitutional decrees of the Lord, not because of the divine constitutional order of God. According to this female graduate in silliness, there is no ontological reason for that prohibition.

And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

In all the history of the Divine Revelation, God has NEVER called a woman to serve in the Holy Orders. NEVER! A “NEVER” confirmed by our Lord.

Yet this is not an ontological argument for this female intoxicated by her sex.

We call the One God the FATHER Almighty in the symbol of our Faith; we pray to our FATHER, as the Lord taught us; but these are not ontological arguments for this cuckling phoney.

In all the history of our salvation, in the entire Revelation of the Holy Spirit, in the whole Scripture, in the complete Tradition of the Church, no woman has been seen in the Sacred Orders. This is the work of the Lord, and it’s wonderful in our eyes!

Yet it’s not wonderful in the eyes of this annoying female.

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

……

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

………

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

The above quotes from St. Paul are just the beginning of an unanimous consensus of the holy fathers of the Church, perfectly aligned with the Scripture teachings, yet there are no scriptural or patristic support for that prohibition, according to this sister of lies.

St. Paul would have already delivered her to Satan, that she may learn not to blaspheme. Those who sit in St. Paul seat today, contrariwise, allow her to pose as an Orthodox nun and daily instill poison in the mind of the little ones of Christ.

The Lord spoke of a greater condemnation.

GRAND THEFT FINANCE

April 27, 2018

They call this planned robbery of Rite Aid shareholders a merger. They even manage to stay serious when speaking about it. In fact, this is the first case in the history of public companies when the acquirers get paid by the acquiree.

The only persons benefiting from this shenanigans on Rite Aid side is its management (so-called). The faithfulness of that management to Rite Aid shareholders you can judge for yourselves, reading this partial hall of shame compiled by a fellow shareholder.

They have now crowned their long disservice to the wealth entrusted to them with this deal. Even in the announcement and in the presentation of the merger, every single word has been thought to confuse and deceive the RAD shareholders.

This robbery (deal is not an appropriate name) values RAD shares at 2.5 $ just because it gives Albertsons’ equity a value of 23.2 $. That is nut! Albertsons is not publicly traded, so that value is made up of thin air. Can we ascertain an approximate value for Albertson? You bet we can!

I do not know the cash flow statements for that company, but just looking at the sector where it operates and the egregious amount of debt it has (7.8 times its EBITDA), I can assure you that its equity is not worth much more than 10 $ per shares (that means one buck and change for 1 Rite Aid share).

Rite Aid is worth, as it is now, with no operating improvements and with a BIP as CEO (plus some assorted nullities as directors), AT LEAST 4 $ per share.

The new Rite Aid (after the assets sale to Walgreen) has a present EV equal to 4.41 $ per share. Against this value you get 20.17 $ in revenue, with CASH EBT equal to 0.63 $, per share.

Net debt is now 2.73 per share, 4.33 times the annual CASH EBT (the projected EBT should not be much different than the present, with less interest expenses offset by the break-up fee received this year).

A real management could easily add 0.25 $ annually to the CASH EBT, just managing the company. Smart management could send its share price in the high double digits in three years time.

Do some easy back of envelope calculations, and it will be crystal clear that only two kind of shareholders can vote FOR this merger:

  • masochists;
  • those who have not bought with their money the shares they are voting (aka financial institutions).

Therefore, if the morons at the institutional holders of Rite Aid approve this robbery, run for the hills before getting Albertsons toxins in your account.

THE EIGHTH HOMILY TO THE YOUTH

April 19, 2018

Father George Calciu, Confessor of the Faith

Priest George Calciu.

What new word can I share with you my friends? Since then many long years have passed. A new generation has arisen, tested by unique experience and, perhaps, touched by a new skepticism born from contact with the Western world estranged from the right Faith.

Perhaps today, even more so than when I delivered those “Seven Homilies to the Youth”, the souls of young people—whom I consider as much my friends as I did back then (because I still speak in the name of Jesus Christ)—is increasingly assaulted by mental illness.

This is brought about by the treacherous propaganda from the West, behind the mask of liberal democracy, which often takes on the appearance of Christianity, just as Satan dons angelic light to deceive as many as possible.

Back then (in communism) you were oppressed through force, which created within you a natural resistance against a system of materialistic thinking and formed within you a mystical dimension. You, my young friend, did not believe anything that was told to you then, because, as you know, under the guise of relative truth, which the rulers of the time had proclaimed as absolute truth, a complete and totalitarian lie was hidden.

Back then, the voice of the priest reached you through the spoken homily at the price of his liberty and even his life, and the truth of Christ consoled a soul wounded by the violence of political language and physical terror.

Back then you were told of Communist internationalism and of an exclusively materialistic existence, which sought to kill the universal love of the Savior. Then, you were told that you were a mere instrument, without freedom, in the social and political mechanism, and that only integration into this necessity would bring you freedom. However, Christ is calling you to a greater freedom of a totally different order when He says, Sanctify them through Thy Truth; Thy word is Truth (Jn 17:17) and, in another place, Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free (Jn 8:32).

It is not so, my friend, that back then the Christian Truth appeared crystal clear and easily understandable to you?

Today, in the nest of lies which surrounds you from all sides, are you still able to distinguish the Truth from the lies as easily?

Under the invasion of American and Protestant-style “evangelization”, in which partial truths of Christianity are preached before a satanic background of rock music and in the form of a “cheep sham spectacle”, full of shrieks and false tears, with miracles and healings falling upon your confused head, how can you find the true Christ in your heart?

Yesterday, under the terror of Communism atheism, you could robe your soul with the body of the Lord, anointed with myrrh, as when Joseph and Nicodemus put him in the tomb.

Today seduced by the infernal rhythm of drums and the barbaric rhythm of sectarian preaching, you no longer find God, and you stand, like Mary Magdalene, crying from the empty tomb of your soul.

Who stole God from you? Which gardener has hidden Him from you, so that now you are alone and crying?

Return to the simple truth of faith and to the account of the Resurrection of Christ! Run like Peter and John towards the Lord’s tomb, stoop down, enter, and you shall see and you, shall believe, knowing the Scripture, that Jesus had to rise from the dead!

Perhaps yesterday, when Communism tried to wrench any faith from your heart and to form you into a mere cog in the gears of the social machinery, you, out of a spirit of youthful revolt had more Christ in your soul than you have today.

Today you are attacked from all sides with the sound of the rhythmic drumming of all the anti-Christian organizations, which wish to create an amorphous mass out of the world’s nations, easily led to their intended destination. So it happens in the political world—a few individuals are anointed in secret and installed to govern all people from positions of international power. They determine which nations have the right to bear children and which must abort them; they substitute themselves to God and sketch the destiny of nations according to their pleasures and interests. Whoever does not submit shall perish!

This totalitarianism is expressed, more and more, even in the life of the Church, through Masonic-style ecumenical international organizations, which actually impose a new religion, a new liturgy divested of sacredness, the Holy Mysteries, and ritual, like a modern theatrical production.

These so-called religious theaters—which you see gathered in all the public marketplaces, led by some of the Western youth—represent the desanctification of Christianity and the Liturgy. Unfortunately even some Orthodox clergy have taken part in the de-sacramentalization of the Liturgy, as in the case of the brochure Reconciliation—the Gift from God and the Beginning of New Life, edited in Iasi, in 1995, where among the editors is found an Orthodox priest (of course, not without the approval of his hierarch). This work, in its liturgical part, is an attack on the sanctity of Orthodox Liturgy and a negation of its Mysteries.

How can you not stand, like Mary, in front of an empty tomb? All these attacks are pointed against you, young men, especially against you, because you are more deprived of protection and you are more sensitive to injustices. Your attackers want to tell you that you are an empty tomb if you no not submit to them.

However, it is written: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are from God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world (I Jn 4:1).

Who can test today if the spirits come from God when the Orthodox and catholic priests themselves preach an anti-Christian Messianic message, similar to the sects established by rebels against the Church? Who protects you from straying, my younger brother? Who is to enrobe your heart with the presence of true Christ and not with the false christs of this age?

As many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth… And of his fullness have all we received , and grace for grace (Jn 1:12–14,16).

You were born, young man, not of desire of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but from God, Who became flesh for you and of Whose fullness you partook, and grace after grace you have received.

This grace is a shield against fornication, to which your modern teachers push you. They tell you that liberty is the eradication of any obstacle facing you; that a good conscience is a talisman; that honor is an old-fashioned, obsolete notion; that sexuality is the unleashing of the beast within you; that your likeness to Christ is a story created by the priests; and that the love of God and neighbor is a new way of inhibiting your personality. Search in your heart, beyond this diabolic ticket of lies, and you will find the Truth, the only one that shall set you free! And the supreme Truth is the Resurrection, the Resurrection of Christ, as the lever for your own resurrection.

As we approach Passion Week, which we meet filled with pain and repentance for our own participation in the slaying of Christ, not only by the mere decadence of the old Adam but through our actions at every moment and our daily falls. Through these we have wounded Him Who is the ideal of human perfection. The priest proclaims from the altar “the death of God” again and again during the 12 Passion Gospels in a wearing and haunting way. “O my sweet springtime, O my sweetest child, where has Thy beauty gone?” . We will be mournful and full of tears, but never despairing, because we know that the time has come when the Son of Man will be betrayed and delivered into the hands of high priests, who will judge, condemn and give Him over to death, but on the third day He will rise (cf. Mt. 16:21, 17:22-23, 20:18-19; Mk. 10:33-34; Lk. 9:22, 18:31-35). This is why we sing during the Lamentation service: “As a lion hast Thou fallen asleep in the flesh, O Savior, and as a young lion hast Thou risen from the dead, putting off the old age of the flesh”. .

With torn flesh, ravaged by torments, Christ arises as a lion cub, renewed trough the total spiritualization of the body. As a lion cub, He comes out of the myrrh-filled linen shroud, leaving it untouched yet retaining its form. As a lion cub He ascends, illumined, through the stone of the tomb without leaving a trace—the stone which the angel would later remove in order to show the women that Jesus was no longer in the grave. Come, see the place where the Lord lay (Mt. 28:6).

Christ is Risen!

Paradoxically, the priest who said to you that Christ had died now proclaims, in the brilliant light of the Truth, that He is Risen. He knows and he preaches the Truth of the Resurrection with conviction. Friend, you are no longer an empty tomb! The risen Christ dwells in you and His joy remains wholly in you.

During Pascha of 1981, I was in the prison of Aiud. Early that morning, when the guards was changing shifts, I broke every diabolic rule of the prison by saying to the guard (one of the cruelest): “Christ is Risen!” He hesitated a few moments, in which, like lightening, I saw passing on his face the innocence of childhood, when his mama or grandma led him by the hand to church and when he heard the angelic voice of the priest saying: “Christ is Risen!”

After this moment of hesitation, he softly answered me; “Truly, He is Risen!” It was for me the most assuring proof that I was never misled in this regard: the one who was torturing me (for Christ) was confessing the Resurrection of the Lord! I cried in silence with tears of joy.

Late, Cornel Prisacaru came to try to prove to me there, behind the bars, in cold and hunger, through Marxist arguments, that it was stupid to believe and affirm the Resurrection of Christ. When he entered my cell, I said: “Christ is Risen!” He gazed fixedly a few seconds and asked me in return: “Did you see Him?”

“I did not see Him, Mr. Cornel, but I believe in the Resurrection through the authority of those who saw Him risen and confessed it: apostles and disciples, myrrh-bearing women, solders who lay as dead men, penetrated by the light of the Resurrection, millions of martyrs who, in the moment of their martyric deaths, have had the vision of the risen Christ. You have not seen the North Pole, but you don’t doubt its existence, through the authority of those who informed you. You have not seem Marx or Engels or Lenin but you believe in their existence, and I assume, in their theories, through the authority of those who speak to you about them…”

I was wasting myself in a stupid and cadaverous argument, using human proof, dead before they were uttered, when the supreme Truth consists in its simple proclamation. I was encountering in some way the same circumstances as had the Apostle Paul when he made use of philosophy before the Athenian citizens, speaking about the irrational and anti-rational act of the Resurrection (cf. Acts 17:16-34). I was slaying little by little, the spirit of Truth which the previous guard had kindled in my cell through the simple confirmation of the Resurrection: “Truly he is Risen!”…

Young friend, I can enumerate biblical proof of the Resurrection; I can send you to the tomb with Peter and John to see how Jesus came out from the linen cloth without changing its form, or through the rock without breaking it; I can tell you of all of His appearances to the apostles, disciples and saints. They are all, in my mouth, smoke and haze, if the Spirit of God does not speak through me.

Christ has risen in your heart even before I or someone else could tell you. And you knew this fact and confirmed it, the same as my guard, when you cried from the deepest inarguable conviction: “Truly He is Risen!”

Hristos a Inviat! Adevarat a Inviat!

Do not run after spectacles; do not run after cheep miracles performed on stage, do not run to the senseless babbling of the sectarians; their incomprehensible words are serpents coming out of their mouth! Do not run to the theatrical preaching of any of them; they are all lies, they are all hidden weapons of Satan! Go to the simplest truth, to the most indisputable and even more undisputed:

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

From The Orthodox Word No. 255, 2007.