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Feast of the Holy Trinity: the birthday of the Church

June 18 2005

June 19, Orthodox Christians celebrate their collective birthday. The Church teaches that the service next to the parishioners are still alive generations of Christians of all times.

Today is the birthday of your Orthodox neighbors in the entrance and the birthday of a Roman soldier who secretly converted to Christianity in the Age of Nero. Birthday pious Byzantine merchant, whose ashes decayed in the ground more than six thousand years ago, and the shepherd of the Kaluga province, was executed in 1918 for refusing to remove the cross. These very different people united by one thing and most important: belonging to the Church.

33rd year of our Lord. 10 days ago resurrected Cpasitel ascended into heaven . Before that, he commanded his disciples to time to stay together and wait "of the Holy Spirit."

Morning at Zion Upper Room (Deyan.1, 13), where the apostles lived in constant prayer after the Ascension, suddenly heard a noise. The noise came from heaven, and was heard far beyond the temporary shelter of Christ's disciples. And after that in the air, a host of fiery tongues, they momentarily dropped on the heads of the apostles and the light, but not burned.

At this point, the apostles experienced the feeling which can not be described by means of even such a rich language, like Russian, but "echo" which is a mystical experience of every Orthodox, no matter how weak and sinful he was not. "Now they can fulfill the covenant of love not because they were so punished, not out of obedience or fear - writes about the event in the life of the first disciples of Christ deacon Andrei Kuraev. - Now in them breathes the very love that had once lit the sun and light. Christ left behind him no moral words, and not a collection of writings. Perhaps, we can not even say that He is survived by his disciples. With people he ever left on earth to Himself, His Divine nature, although his human nature, He ascended into heaven. He left his Spirit in the world of men. "

When the Holy Fire is kindled in the hearts of the apostles, they were lifted up to heaven, a word of praise and thanksgiving. And quite unexpectedly, each of them spoke on the hitherto not known to him, the language of the country in which never happens. This knowledge of the apostles was the first gift of the Holy Spirit. It will be necessary for them to preach Christianity throughout the world: "Go and teach all nations ..."

However, the homily, "all nations" to come. And now the noise from the sky attracted Zion Upper Room crowd of local residents. They were amazed unexpected phenomenon: the disciples of Christ, the Galileans by birth, people are mostly uneducated and unskilled, talking to foreign languages. The crowd gathered was different in origin and language, each of these people in the mouth of the mysterious preacher heard the words of their native language.

Surprise some of confusion and fear. There were skeptics who said:''preachers drank sweet wine''(Acts 2,13). Then the Apostle Peter preached his first sermon. It was simple and brief, but the mouth of Peter's already prophesied the Holy Spirit, and simple words shook the hearts of listeners. ''They cut to the heart and said to Peter and other apostles: What shall we do, men and brethren?''''Repent - was the answer - and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit ' '. After that,''gladly received the word''repented, believed and were baptized. By the Church of Christ''the same day about three thousand souls''(Acts 2,37-41).

"Actually, this is the birthday of the Church - continues to deacon Kuraev.- When Christ uttered the Sermon on the Mount - around him there was no church, but there were those who were only students and novices. While he was on the night of His sufferings offered the apostles of the New Testament Cup - round about him were those whom he now calls no longer "slaves", but "brothers", but that's not been the Church. When He rose - and then they do not yet understand the significance for their own lives and souls is the fact that their teachers had left his grave. But here's the day of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, they became the Church. From now on - one and the same Spirit lives in the Pre-eternal Son of God and in themselves. Now they themselves - the Body of Christ ... Now, not outside, not as students or observers. They know the mystery of the Son of God. Now - it's their own secret, or rather, now - this is the mystery of their own lives. "

The apostles were the first priests. Christ Himself commanded them to do a church service, practice, communion, baptism, burial service in short, do all that at a church called the language "required." They were given the power to ordain to the priesthood those who are ready to continue the task of salvation after the death of the Earth's first disciples of the Savior. A successor - to ordain others. Thus began the age-old "rescue relay, and the priest who serves in a church two blocks from your house on the right believes that received the sacrament from the hands of the apostles.

Feast of the Holy Trinity continue for the next day - Whit Monday, the day the Holy Spirit. In Russia the Trinity churches and homes are decorated with flowers and birch branches. In these days of almost 2,000 years ago, the Apostles went forth to preach, and went in all directions. Almost all of them to accept death for the truth which they professed and preached. But the way the apostles will continue as long as the world is given to us in our earthly sensations and measurements.



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