January 12, 2014
The condescension of Christ and our calling
On Epiphany we heard: “Today the Prophet and Forerunner draws near to the Master, and halts with trembling when he witnesses the condescension of God towards us.”
Condescension means leniency, tolerance, humbleness, forbearance, affability. Christ, as the Great Archpriest, calls us to take part in His condescension, in His Crucifixion and Resurrection, in His philanthropy and in His priesthood.
Thus, the Apostle Paul accepted Christ and following him, took on the priestly and apostolic charisma. He tells us: “to the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23).
Our great responsibility as Christians is to take part in His priesthood and to become apostles so the world can be enlightened with God’s grace. Unfortunately today, as the our Ecumenical Patriarch stresses “the number of those that carry a “feigned priesthood” which wants more to “show” rather “to be” is increasing. This is about a priesthood of formality, of bright vestments, of socializing, of the non-investing reverence of the “pure” or of the hawker of activism”
The Patriarch continues and says that “the truth of priesthood, though, is the Cross and the Resurrection. It is Divine Grace, which frees us from our self in order to meet our brother.” He who takes part in the priesthood of Christ and, at the same time His condescension, is he who is always lovable, flaring and full of sensitivity and tenderness towards the ‘great wound’ and the ‘great miracle’, which is man. He is never languid, lazy, dismal or pessimistic.”