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St. Mary of Egypt

In last Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 9:17-31), the disciples were disappointed because they could not cast out a demon from a young man, but Christ did. His disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” The Lord responds, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.

Triumph of Orthodoxy
The Restoration of Icons
The Restoration of Icons
The Restoration of Icons

One of the initial challenges facing Orthodox Christians on the First Sunday of Lent is to make the Triumph of Orthodoxy not simply the commemoration of a past historical event (8th century), but to make it have personal meaning for each person now.  

The Triumph of Orthodoxy is not a victory over people, but is instead, a victory of truth. It affirms the Orthodox dogma of the Incarnation that God took on human flesh and lived among us as the God-Man, and did so in a humble and simple, yet glorified, way.

By being created in God’s image, we are called to be icons of Christ, to be reflections of the divine life we are created for.  Yet, the questions begs to be asked, “How is it that we best reflect God’s image?” The answer is actually quite simple. Anything we do if it is carried out to offer glory to God, and if it is done so in that humble and simple manner referenced above, then we are reflections, or images, or icons of God. Very often throughout the church year, especially on the Sundays when Jesus heals the blind, we are encouraged to look at things differently; yet it is also necessary for us to prepare ourselves in a way so that when others look at us, they see the Divine Light of Christ shining.

The work of each person is to convert non-believers. When we choose not to be active in that work, then we reject our role as Christians and choose not to become involved in the Triumph of Orthodoxy. Every time we speak God’s Truth, when our lives shine with his Divine Light, and whenever the love of God pours forth spontaneously and abundantly from our hearts, then we have not only properly understood the Triumph of Orthodoxy, but we have become active – and personal participants - in the Triumph as well.

- Fr Marc Vranes

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