Tag Archive for: Jesus Christ

Masks

Armodoxy for Today

Masks

After trick-or-treating the neighborhood and snapping enough pictures to keep the memories going beyond the evening and season, the custom of opening the bag, inspecting and sampling the treasure takes place. The first step, though, is removing the mask off of your face, to better enjoy the goodies.

The masks we wear in life come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The masks we wear at Halloween are celebratory, they are part of the fun and excitement of the evening. The most beautiful young face can be distorted into something so old and hideous, and vice versa. The masks we wear after Halloween are the ones that we need to examine for they are easy hiding places for our true nature. We wear one mask at home and another at work. The mask we wear as a husband or wife might be different from the mask of a friend. The one we wear as parent speaking with our children might be different than the mask we wear speaking with our parents. One mask may be that of the boss and the other of the faithful employee. We wear masks to fit the occasion.

At the end of the day, we remove our masks, and usually do so in front of a mirror. What we see is the maskless self – the one that looks back at us and the one who’s stare we cannot escape.

When we talk about an all-knowing and all-seeing God, we understand He has the unique vantage point of seeing through our masks, no matter how many and how layered they may be. In this sense, it’s like the mirror-stare, in that we can’t escape His view. To open the bag of “goodies of life” and enjoy the treats within, that view – unhindered, unobscured, is the God view that is the same view from a clean and receptive heart.

The prayer of St. Nersess says (#9) “Lord, Protector of all, instill Your holy fear in me that my eyes may not look lustfully, that my ears may not delight in hearing evil, that my mouth may not speak lies, that my heart may not think evil, that my hands may not do injustice, that my feet may not walk in the paths of iniquity. But direct all my actions that I do your will in everything. Amen.”

Lunch Date

Armodoxy for Today
Lunch Date

Several years ago, I was interviewed by one of the local newspapers here in the Southland. One of the questions they asked me was, given the chance to have lunch with anyone, historic or contemporary, dead or alive, who would I choose?

These types of questions come with some expectations, especially of the clergy. The obvious historical character for clergy is Jesus Christ. Even in secular circles, among non-religious people, the influence of Jesus and Christianity on human history and thought is undeniably tremendous. And so, in a sense, it’s a loaded question when asking a clergy person to pick out a person, from all of time, with whom to spend the lunch hour.

I disappointed the interviewer, and perhaps you, the reader or listener, not because I didn’t want to take the bait but because there’s nothing more that needs to be asked of Christ. At the Crucifixion, Jesus is recorded as saying, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) He had come to the world as a gift from God as the ultimate expression of love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16) “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) It is finished. He has given us everything we need to know, everything that is necessary to make “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” He has given us nothing less than what is necessary to enjoy life, live it abundantly.

Part of the joy of life is the wonder, the mystery, the search and discovery for ourselves. Jesus has given us the Truth, which applies across generations and civilizations. As Christians, we all come with our own set of circumstances and are touched by the Truth. We search, make mistakes, mark accomplishments, wonder, marvel, cry, laugh and in the end, we live. It is the process of that gives life meaning. Our prayer is for the wisdom, to live in harmony with all that is around us. St. Nersess’ prayer is, “Jesus, [you are] the wisdom of the Father, grant me your wisdom that I may speak, think and do that which is good in your sight. Save me from evil thoughts, words and deeds. Amen.

And, who would I have liked to have lunch with, dead or alive, historic or contemporary? Well, my father, of course. We lost him at an early age. I would love to see him one more time, share with him the wonders of life, the magic, the music, laughs and sorrows that I have discovered… and perhaps compare notes.  

Mission & Continuity

Armodoxy for Today

 

Mission & Continuity

Jesus began his ministry in the town of Nazareth. St. Luke the Evangelists records (chapter 4):
So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Thus, proclaiming his mission.

When we describe the Armenian Church as “Apostolic” it means we are in a link to the apostles themselves and carry on their mission, which is the mission of Jesus Christ. Today, in our hearing, Jesus has proclaimed His mission. Our mission.

First Tweets

Next Step with Fr. Vazken #747: This next step is the first step on the Epostle.net network. A run-down of the Launch, arrival and moving forward with the steps. Jesus and the art of the tweet: simplicity in the Gospel is a mission and articulation at a different level.
We’re now live: https://epostle.net
Highlights of 40th Anniversary Divine Liturgy
Epostle.net launch – afternoon session
Epostle Launch Program
Amerikatsi
Michael Goorjian
Ludovico Einaudi
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for Epostle.net
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We’re on Stitcher, Pandora and Apple Podcasts.

Universal Converter

Next Step with Fr. Vazken #744: Queen Elizabeth II, passes and the speed of updates. Personal passing’s: reflections on Sam Boranian and life led in humility. Jesus and accessibility: The Universal Converter and how to “plug” into the power of the Holy Spirit. Metaphors and more on postures.
Queen Elizabeth II, first hour after passing
Sam Boranian obituary
Universal Converter 
Grandpa’s Magical Toys
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org and Epostle.net
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Forgiveness & Freedom

Next Step #735: Back in 2007, on this day, we established the Day of Forgiveness based on Christ’s principle of forgiving without limit. Here’s another reminder of the dimensions of forgiveness and leading to freedom. A shooting in Chicago is the latest of a string of shootings in a country that is struggling with freedom and the control of that freedom. Here are the links to today’s topics.
July 3, 2022 – Freedom Sermon at 1:12:25
1927 – 4th of July picnic, picture and commentary
Forgiveness conference on 7/7/7 www.7×77.org
7×77 Universal Peace Symbol through Forgiveness
Chicago Killings
Book of Forgiving by Bishop Desmond Tutu
Jethro Tull www.jethrotull.com
Cover: Building the human embodiment of 7, Vasquez Rocks
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org and Epostle.net
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Children Unheard

Next Step with Fr. Vazken #732: Whether children of war or those who suffer the effects of autism, it’s the Church that is the Body of Christ in this world today. Pope Francis, Little Red Riding Hood and the bad wolf: WW3? Jesus and the problem of unchosenness. Fr. Vazken discusses the challenge of a war that is forgotten and points to a new ministry initiated in the Western Diocese, to families challenged by autism.
Pope Francis says WW3 has been declared 
Divine Liturgy at Pentecost 2022
Armenian Autism Outreach Program
Blessing Armenian Autism Outreach and children at the Cathedral (6/12/22)
Conversations with God
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Holy Spirit Building the Church

Next Step with Fr. Vazken #730: From the words of St. Paul (Ephesians 4) to the vision of Bishop Daniel Findikyan, “Building Up the Body of Christ” is the next step in direction and opportunity for the Armenian Christian experience. Pentecost and the witness of the Holy Spirit building Christ’s Holy Church: Direction for the Christian Church. Spiritual music from the Monastery of Holy Geghart. “Going back to move forward” – a quick look at Luke 2.
Building Up the Body of Christ by Bishop Daniel Findikyan (text & audio)
Second Palm Sunday Sermon
Unleashing his vision (2018 Interview with Bp. Daniel)
Story of Pentecost
Cover: Ruins of Havuts Monastery Armenia at Sunset, V. Kulkov
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Footprints at Calvary

Next Step with Fr. Vazken #723: Finding the missing step and the next step at the foot of the Cross and at the Empty Tomb. A look at some of the traditions that cheapen spiritual discovery. The amended Creed: passing blame and guilt for the Crucifixion? A special Easter reflection and edition of the Next Step.
St. Basil Liturgical Texts
Cheap Grace
Divine Liturgy CD
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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An Up Reclaimed

Next Step with Fr. Vazken #720: The “here we go again” trigger to depression: Accept or not? Overcoming depression with evolution: Reacting to Ukraine. Reclaiming faith and a conference in its 6th incarnation. Claiming and Reclaiming life from the Gospel Narrative (Luke 2). The family today.
Reclaim 2022 Conference
Armenian Film Foundation & Michael Hagopian
Don & Lorna Miller and “Survivors”
Shoah Foundation at USC
Anush & Inga
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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