Friday, November 29, 2013

Meditations on the Winter Pascha - The Feast of St. Andrew

The feast of St. Andrew is celebrated on November 30th. St. Andrew was called by Christ Himself to "come and see". He came immediately and saw where Jesus was staying and stayed with Him. Because he came, he was able to see. He saw who Jesus was and he went and brought the news to his brother Peter saying, "We have found the Messiah"

What do we see if we also choose to come? We see who Jesus is. He is revealed to us, as He was revealed to His disciples.

To go the way of the Winter Pascha is, according to Saint Gregory the Theologian, to "travel without fault through every stage and faculty of the life of Christ." It is to enter into the mysteries of the Messiah,  "all of which have but one completion: my perfection and return to the first condition of Adam." It is to "see and be seen by the great God who in Trinity is worshiped and glorified, and whom we now set forth before you as clearly as the bonds of flesh permit, in Jesus Christ our Lord."

If we come we will see the Incarnation of Christ. We see His miracles and his hear His proclamation of good news. We see the signs that He is indeed the Messiah. We see,

...the Son of God Himself being lifted upon the Cross in order to give His broken body as food for His people, and His shed blood as their drink, that their hunger and thirst for peace and joy and righteousness, and indeed for life itself, might be forever satisfied. 

In one of the vespers hymns for the feast day we see what it was that Andrew saw and shared,

Rejoice, O Isaiah, and receive the Word of God.
Prophesy to Mary the Maiden.
She is the Burning Bush unconsumed by the fire of divinity.
Adorn yourself, O Bethlehem.
Open your gates, O Eden.
Enter, O Magi, and see salvation swaddled in a crib.
Behold the star shining above the cave;
It announces the life-giving Lord who saves the human race. 

If we come, and if we look we will "...see [our] salvation swaddled in a crib."

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