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Divine grace is God’s influence which operates in order to regenerate, to sanctify, to inspire Christian virtues, and also to strengthen the inner man to overcome temptations and to endure the trials of daily life.

Commemoration of Saint Mary Magdalene
Saint Mary Magdalene
Saint Mary Magdalene
Saint Mary Magdalene
On Sunday, July 22, the Orthodox Church commemorates the memory of the holy myrrhbearer, St Mary Magdalene, who has earned the distinction of being referred to as 'Equal-to-the-Apostles."
 
Mary was familiar to Christ during the course of his early life. Scripture says she followed him from Galilee (Mark 15:41); provided for his ministry by her own means (Luke 8:3); and it was Mary who anointed the body of our Lord prior to his crucifixion and burial (John 12:3). She was faithful, she was loyal. She did the work of an apostle.
 
In the tradition of the church, Mary Magdalene continued with Christ's ministry, traveling the world preaching the Good News. She preached love, sacrifice, devotion, steadfastness, and courage. These were the characteristics of Mary's earthly ministry. She was indeed equal to the apostles. In the final analysis, she participated, actively, in Christ's ministry.
 
We are to do the same.
 
The church provides every opportunity to do so.
 
We participate in Christ's ministry through active service to the church. We do this when we:
1. Sing
2. Serve
3. Read Epistle
4. Light candles and physically care for the church through work and upkeep.
5. Pray for the living and the dead; for the peace of the whole world; for travelers, seasonable weather, and deliverance from affliction.
 
When we feed the hungry, care for the sick, or visit the shut-ins, we actively participate in our Lord's work.
 
Any service to the church, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, is a ministry to the church. It's a ministry to Christ. It is blessed, and honored.
 
And when we do this, we imitate the life and example of St Mary Magdalene, and all the holy myrrhbearers.
 

-Fr Marc Vranes

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