By: Rev. Fr. Tilemahos Alikakos – Saint Spyridon Hellenic Orthodox Church (Palos Heights, IL)
‘This is the faith of the Apostles, this is the faith of the Fathers, this is the faith of the Orthodox, this is the faith which has sustained the universe.’
With these words that we all proclaim on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, there can be no greater statement as to the importance of faith in our human existence. As a testament to the freedom that God has bestowed on us, faith becomes the key that reveals our origin, our identity, and our purpose. What we confess as Orthodox Christians is that we have freely chosen to walk through this portal of faith to believe in the experiences, the teachings, and the living witnesses that recognize Jesus Christ as the Lord and Master of our life. Though this faith, we become the Church, the continual presence of Christ in the world which He created, sustained, and redeemed in Himself.
Faith takes us beyond the scientifically or historically proven. While many disciplines may lead us to faith, ultimately faith is revealed and given by God to those who are willing to embrace Him as the Truth, the Life, the Creator, and the Sustainer of the Universe. The faith of the Prophets, the faith of Apostles, the Fathers and Mothers of the Church, the faith of our parents and grandparents, the faith of all who lived and died embracing their experience in the living Christ, it is that faith that sustains us, guides us, and leads us to a better world.
Recently we have been through very turbulent times. Besides the public health challenges and all its repercussions, we increasingly face uncertainty and fear, not knowing who or what to believe, continually exposed to an infinite array of opinions presented as facts and contradictory theories challenging eternal truths. When it is so difficult to have faith in anything, it is vital that we find our faith in the One who is, was, and always shall be the Same. He is the only One who respects and truly embraces our human condition, allowing us to be free to choose Him, to believe in Him, and to love Him. As we continue this journey of Great and Holy Lent, let us be guided and sustained solely by our faith in Christ, to live ‘as the Apostles have taught, as the Church has received, and as Christ has awarded.’ Amen.