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Forgive the lateness of this post. I meant to do it yesterday between services but I came down with a bit of sickness.

This short and poor homilette was given after the Vespers of the Taking Down from the Cross on Holy Friday afternoon. Please forgive the impromptu and hurried structure of it. It was very much ad hoc.

Holy Friday - Crucifixion, Choice

My Brothers and Sisters,

Many times, every year, we are given moments where a choice should be made.

Maybe the Lord has sent us a great blessing, or shown us a miracle of some kind. When that happens, we often struggle to make the decision of what we should do when God has made His presence known in our life. Do we thank Him or just keep living like nothing happened?

This day we commemorate the Crucifixion of Christ our Savior, and we, my friends are faced with a choice. Many people followed the Lord in His time; some were close by, taking in his every word and eating miraculously, directly from His hand; others followed very far behind and weren’t moved much by what He did. But they all made a choice: follow Him or walk away.

The late Fr. Seraphim Rose once said, in a summation of patristic thought, “...the religion of compromise is self-deception and ...there exist today only two absolutely irreconcilable alternatives for man: faith in the world and the religion of self, whose fruit is death; and faith in Christ the Son of God in whom alone is eternal life.” 

“...two absolutely irreconcilable alternatives.” Notice he did not say “...three...alternatives”

Two. We can have faith in the world or faith in Christ God. That is it. There is no middle way.

When someone loves something there is no doubt. We all likely know someone who enjoys sports or a specific sports team. I have a friend who loves the Seattle Seahawks, for example. When you meet him, you cannot help but to notice his love for the Seahawks. In conversation with him, if you don’t already know about his love for the team, you will soon find out. If you visited his home, you would see nothing but Seahawks stuff literally everywhere.

Another example that should be obvious to all is the love that one person shows for another. Again, it cannot be missed. When one is in love with another, their lives are moved to an orbit around the other. They eat, sleep and breathe the other person. In a sense, they worship their beloved.

 Can one say they love another if they never talked to or spent time with them? Can we, by looking at our lives and the time we have spent say that we love God? Some like to say “I’m spiritual but not religious.” This is a ridiculous cop-out. It’s like saying “I love food but I never eat.” or “I love books, but I never read.” We show our love and devotion to things by doing. Otherwise it’s just empty words and lies. So to bring this back to Fr. Seraphim’s words, it’s either real or it isn’t. It’s either love or it’s not. Period.

We have a choice to make, my friends. Do we love God, or do we love anything and everything else?

Christ is today crucified. He suffered. He endured mockings and beatings for us. He was killed in what many historians call the worst form of suffering death ever devised by man - for you and me.

He loves us, and His actions showed exactly how much: even unto a horrible, horrible death.

Let us then choose today to love Him in return, carrying our crosses unto our own sufferings, our own deaths and especially our resurrection to be with Him in glory unto the ages of ages.


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