Антоний, митрополит Су́рожский

Sermon on the 3d of июня 1984

Probably on Ascension, but more all-embracing: deification (and ecology!)

In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

Saint Paul, in one of his Epistles tells us that our life is hid with Christ in God. And this is a wonderful saying, and I see two reasons to it which are both heart-warming and inspiring.

The one is this: that the Lord is our /Lord?Love?: and where He is, our life is. He is the treasure, and our heart is where our treasure is. And in that sense our life is already hidden in the mystery of God together with Him. Where He is we long to be; what He is we long to become to enter into perfect communion with Him so that one day, according to the (very?daring?) words of Saint Irinaeus of Lyon by the power of the Spirit we should all in our togetherness and each singly, i n the Only Begotten Son of God, have become t h e Only Begotten Son of God.

And on the other hand it is so wonderful to think that in Him all things are already fulfilled; through His body, a real, concrete human body all the material world has entered into the mystery of the Holy Trinity. All things created can perceive that they are now not extrinsic to God, but already (?) with Him, in Him unfathomable, unutterable communion. They can see the body of Christ risen and ascended, glorious at the heart of the Trinity and recognise themselves, and know that this is what they will be.

And this applies also to us. We can look at Christ risen and ascended, and we shall know that this is the perfect pattern to which we are called. And therefore, the Ascension of the Lord which finds a sort of fulfilment in these words of Paul is, as it were, the summit, the limit of a glorious vision of the worlds not only transfigured but so united to God that it is deified, partaker of the divine nature.

But if this is so, with what awe, with what care should we treat both our souls, our minds, our hearts, our will, and our bodies, and all that surrounds us, because all things are called to this glory! Amen.

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