Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Words from Fr Ed (From Mrch 20th, 2011 Bulletin)

It is good to begin a project with the end in mind. In Greek this is called the telos, from which we get the word telescope. There is a branch of philosophy that deals with the end or goal of things called teleology. Jesus gives the apostles in today’s gospel a vision of things to come as well as establishing a credibility for things about to occur. The Transfiguration shows Moses and Elijah, who represent the Law and the Prophets, conversing with Jesus. For Jews this would indicate the Divine origin of Jesus and His work. It also gives us a goal to strive for, to commune with Jesus.

Peter did not want to leave. When we taste a spiritual high of some kind it is hard to return to the valley, even where Jesus announces His impending suffering and death. No, we prefer heaven and the glory of God. But this valley that we live in is a necessary preparation for heaven. Without the suffering of this present life we would not share in His glory. St. Paul said that is only to the extent that we suffer with Him that we will be glorified with Him. St. Rose of Lima said that if we knew the value of suffering we would be begging God for more.
The Father’s voice instructs us, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” “Listen to him” - have we taken such time so as to hear Jesus’ voice? It can be difficult with so many demands and voices in our heads, so much media to compete with the
voice of God in our minds and hearts. But it is essential that we stop and listen. The Scripture says, “Be still and know that I am God.” What peace we would know if we did that. Lent is the time to listen, listen and obey, just like Jesus, just like the apostles.

Sistine Chapel
Technology can now take us into the Sistine Chapel for a beautiful tour of the images painted by Michelangelo. It is also less crowded. If you do happen to get to Rome, the best way to see the Chapel is to arrive at the Vatican Museum before the doors open (they normally
open at 8:30am I believe). Then, once the doors open do not wait for a tour, do not follow the self-guided tour. Look for signs indicating where to find the Sistine Chapel. Go straight there and you will have 30 minutes practically to yourself before the guided tours enter. At that point guards will begin pushing people through like cattle. Take your time with this virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel at

Icon of the Crucifixion
We have a new icon of the crucifixion written by Caroline Garner, one of our bi-ritual parishioners (Byzantine and Latin Rites). Caroline attends both here at St. Stephen's, as well as St. John Chrysostom parish in Seattle, and she brings this beautiful tradition of iconography with her. The word ‘icon’ means window, as in a window into heaven. An icon is intended to draw the viewer into prayerful communion with the mystery that is depicted. A good explanation of the icon exists at Here is a short excerpt explaining icons from an Orthodox perspective:

In the fullness of time, God put on flesh; He made himself a man. Now, not only had we seen
God in the flesh, but we had seen His face. Now there was a certain obligation to makean icon of God in the flesh as a means of education and veneration. The failure to depict Him in images
suggested that He had not become man. One cannot separate God from Jesus Christ; it is
impossible to create an icon of Christ without, at the same time, making God present.

To paint an icon of Christ, and deny the presence of God in the icon of Christ is the denial of the Divine Economy; hence, the denial of our salvation. But what is not being depicted is God's nature. Only the humanity of Christ. "Being indepictable in thy Divine nature, O Master, Thou didst deign to be depicted when, in these last days, Thou becamest Incarnate..." [Third Sticheron of the Great Vespers for the Sunday of Orthodoxy] "While depicting Thy Divine likeness in icons, O Christ, we openly proclaim Thy Nativity..." [Kathisma of Matins, Sunday of Orthodoxy] "He who seeth Me, seeth Him that sent Me" [Jn.12:45] said the Lord. Elsewhere Christ said to Philip: "Have I been so long with you, and yet thou hast not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, show us the Father?" [Jn.14:9]. The Church has taught Her people that, in the icon of Christ, we also "see" God the Father. Christ is the very image or Icon of the Father; so where One is present so is the Other. (see:

You can find the new icon either in the chapel or main church during Lent, after which we will be mounting it in the chapel.

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