Sunday, December 1, 2013

Το ευαγγέλιον αιώνιον

Και ειδον αλλον αγγελον πετόμενον εν μεσουρανήματι, εχοντα ευαγγέλιον αιώνιον ευαγγελίσαι επι τους καθημένους επι της γης και επι παν εθνος και φυλην και γλωσσαν και λαόν,
λέγων εν φωνη μεγάλη, Φοβήθητε τον Κύριον και δότε αυτω δόξαν, οτι ηλθεν η ωρα της κρίσεως αυτου, και προσκυνήσατε τω ποιήσαντι τον ουρανον και την γην και την θάλασσαν και πηγας υδάτων.

וארא מלאך אחר מעופף במרום הרקיע אשר היה לו בשורת עולם לבשר את ישבי הארץ ואת כל גוי ומשפחה ולשון ועם׃
ויאמר בקול גדול יראו את האלהים והבו לו כבוד כי באה עת משפטו והשתחוו לעשה שמים וארץ את הים ומעינות המים׃

Va’ére mal’ákh ’achér me‘ôphéph bimrôm ha-raqí‘a ’asher hayáh-lô besôrat ‘ôlám l’vassér ’et-yosh’véy ha-’áretz v’et-kol-gôy ûmishpacháh v’lashôn va’ám:
Vayyomer b’qôl gadôl yer’û ’et-ha’Elohîm v’havû-lô kavód kî va’áh ‘ét mishpatô v’hishtachavû la‘oseh shamàyim va’áretz ’et-hayyám ûma‘yenôt hammáyim:

Then I saw another angel, flying high overhead, sent to announce the Eternal Gospel to all who live on the earth, every nation, race, language and tribe. He was calling, “Fear God and praise Him, because the time has come for Him to sit in judgment; worship the Maker of heaven and earth and sea and every water spring.”
Revelation 14:6-7

The Good News, the Gospel, the Evangélion, there is only one, but because it is the Word that contains all that is, was and is to come, the seen as well as the unseen, the expressible in human language and the inexpressible, we find it described in the Holy Scriptures in various ways, we see its contents never fully but pieces of it here and there. Why? Because the Good News is the life of Christ, the Gospel is our lives in Him, the Evangélion is the summation of all things, all being in Him Who Is. Sounds mystical? Well, it is the Mystery, the Mystírion, the meeting of God and man, of God as Man, and of man in God, but as for it being mystical, no, it is not, at least not in the way that people think.

There is only one Good News (cf. Galatians 1:7), and though it reaches us in various times and places (cf. Hebrews 1:1-4), expressed in parts, all of these parts form a single whole (cf. Ephesians 4:16), which clothe the soul gradually, dressing us up in what becomes our wedding garment (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:3), eventually clothing us in the Bridegroom Himself (cf. Galatians 3:27), as the Bride is enfolded by Him and folds into Him. Again, it is the Mystery. ‘My Beloved is mine, and I am His. He pastures His flock among the lilies’
(Song of Songs 2:16).

The first words of the Good News are spoken by an angel standing on the earth (cf. Luke 1:26-38) before the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David (cf. Revelation 5:5) is sown in the fruitful field of the Virgin Daughter of Israel, and they are spoken to her alone. The last words of the Good News are spoken by an angel ‘flying high overhead’ before the Day of Judgment begins for the whole world, and they are spoken to everyone who lives on earth, ‘every nation, race, language and tribe’ (Revelation 14:6).

Between the words ‘Rejoice, so highly favored!’ and ‘Fear God and praise Him’ the door to heaven has been flung open, the gates of paradise have been unlocked, ‘the blind see again, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, the Good News is proclaimed to the poor’ (Luke 7:22). This is the Day of Redemption, the Day of the Good News, the acceptable Day of the Lord. Why? Because between the first and last words the Eternal Gospel, we have been granted this time to enter into the Living Word.

Brethren, let us enter into the Living Word and, casting aside all worldly cares, receive and be received by the King of All.
The ikons are scenes from the book of Revelation painted in the portico of Dionysíou Monastery on Mount Athos.

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