May 31, 1998. Seventh Sunday after Pascha, Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council
1. God's Word: The Epistle: Acts 20:16-18,28-36.
The Gospel: John 17:1-13.
2. Meditation on God's Word: I BELIEVE
On this Seventh Sunday after Pascha, the Church remembers the holy fathers of the First Ecumenical Council which met in Nicea (today this is a town in Turkey) in 325. It was called by the Roman Emperor St. Constantine whose feast day we celebrated with a Liturgy 5 days ago.
It is easy to transpose today's point of view which values the separation of Church and state and denounce the fact that a political figure would be so involved in a matter of religion. We certainly would not want to return to a time when the state dictated what the populace should believe. But this conviction should not keep us from seeing that God's will was expressed in St. Constantine's action.
This council made a most important decision which affects our view of the relationship between God and humanity. It declared on the basis of the Holy Scriptures that Jesus of Nazareth was not only the best human being who ever lived, but that He was at the very same time also God. God loved humanity so much that He became one of us!
Now our conception of God Who is beyond anything that we could imagine is complemented by a conception which places Him in our midst: a Man whom we can hear speaking human words and see in action - doing ordinary everyday things as well as amazing miracles. The holy fathers gave an answer to those who would wish to come to know God in this world. They declared: "I believe!" We believe in a God who loves us and Who has linked His life with us for all eternity as True Man and True God.
Rev'd Ihor George Kutash, Dean of the Cathedral