HIDDEN VALLEY: THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
The Second Sunday after Pentecost
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. (KJV)
The Lord Jesus Christ offers healing and the Kingdom of God for those choosing to follow Him. Believers are to leave behind all that inhibits the full love of God when choosing to follow Christ.
At Baptism the believer’s full body is dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ. Following Baptism believers are to learn in God’s Holy Church the best and most pleasing ways to follow Jesus Christ.
The Church offers the way of repentance when poor choices are made and sin in life occurs. Jesus Christ’s love and forgiveness provide the healing necessary for new beginnings throughout life.
Jesus’ call to follow Him is powerful and appealing, Jesus offers the way out of sin and life in God’s Kingdom. Peter, Andrew, James and John recognized in Jesus the value of leaving all behind and following Him.
Believers in every century have heeded the call of Christ to follow Him. Jesus Christ calls each person at each moment of time to leave behind the chains of sin to embrace the goodness in Him.
Each person is unique, created in the image and likeness of God. Through living in Jesus Christ, the believer finds the best ways to manifest the image and likeness of God.
The Church nourishes and guides the believer from Baptism to eternal life and God’s Kingdom. God’s saints open the paths to follow and shine the light of Christ through their lives. The saints show that following Christ is very possible.
When doubts occur in the mind, Jesus Christ is ever-present to reassure the believer and renew the call to follow Him. Peter, Andrew, James and John in the present Gospel follow Jesus Christ without hesitation.
We know from the Church’s history that Peter, Andrew, James and John lived in Christ in ways that are of lasting value. The Holy Apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John are of immeasurable benefit to every generation.
The hunger in the soul is addressed and filled when the believer says ‘Yes’ to the call of Christ at throughout all of life. Evil is to be firmly rejected and the life in Jesus Christ is to be fully embraced.
Prayer, fasting and charitable works keep the believer oriented and attentive to Christ. Through prayer and nourishment in the Church, the believer finds the ways to live out life in ways most pleasing to the Lord.
The saints show that life can be lived in a variety of ways and be fully pleasing to the Lord. The world needs believers to live out life in different capacities for the existence of communities.
God reveals to believers the paths to take in manifesting the image and likeness in the Lord in daily life. Strength to overcome barriers to Christian growth and roadblocks in life come through faith and belief in Christ.
Peter, Andrew, James and John were guided by Christ as they went forth. They left behind their old lives and took up the new life in Christ to the benefit of their salvation.
Each person makes choices during the course of the day. The choices determine whether Christ is followed and God’s Kingdom are the primary goal.
Peter, Andrew, James and John did not turn back after having following Christ.
Following Baptism each person is to remain firmly on the path to God’s Kingdom and eternal life. The joys of life are experienced as the person remains faithful to Christ even in the most difficult of circumstances.
The Lord Jesus Christ showed that going to the Cross did not remove joy from life. Going to the Cross revealed the greatest joy as Jesus Christ defeated death by going to the Cross.
Each believer is baptized under the sign of the Cross. Each Divine service takes place under the sign of the Cross. Life is to be lived under the sign of the Cross.
Life under the sign of the Cross is the life in Christ and offers new life in Christ.
The present Gospel is proclaimed by the Church each year to reassure believers of the immediacy of the value of following Christ. The call of Christ is timely and timeless and beckons the believer to eternal life and God’s Kingdom.
God’s Holy Church is present for believers to heed the call of Christ and to follow Him. The Church offers unity with Christ through the Holy Scriptures, the Divine services and the Holy Mysteries.
The world is transformed and overcome when believers choose to follow Christ. Just as death was defeated by Christ, sin, evil and death are overcome by the life in Christ.
Today say “yes’ to following Christ. At every moment resolve to say
“yes” to the call of Christ. Through the prayers of the Holy Apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John draw strength in following Christ throughout life.
The Second Sunday after Pentecost. Holy Apostle Aquilina; St. Tryphilius, Bishop of Cyprus. June 13/26, 2022. Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania.
Father Rodney Torbic