“Blessed are you, and praiseworthy, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and glorious forever is your name” (Luke 14, 16-24) (Prokimen, tone 4)
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Glory to Jesus Christ! Dear brothers and sisters!
The last two Sundays before the Nativity of Christ are called the "Sunday of the Holy Forefathers" and the "Sunday of the Holy Fathers". Today we celebrate Sunday of the Holy Forefathers.
Who are the Holy Forefathers, and why do we commemorate them before the Nativity of Christ?
The Holy Forefathers were the Saints of the first period of the Old Testament (such as Abel, Enoch, Noe, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Melchisedech and Joseph) who served God before the proclamation of the written Law of Moses. These are also known as Patriarchs. By honoring them our Church reminds its faithful that God is always watching over them who keep His law and serve Him. In their lives they prefigured the life of Christ and foresaw Christ.
Adam was the father of human race. Jesus is the father of all mankind because Jesus gives the supernatural life.
Noah built the Ark to save his family and animals from the flood. Jesus made the Church to save the faithful from eternal fire.
Isaac was a symbol of Christ because he carried the wood upon which he was to be sacrificed. Jesus carried the wooden cross upon which He died.
Moses prefigured our Lord in many ways. He was the leader of the people from the bondage of Egypt. Jesus leads mankind from the bondage of sin.
Jonas was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. Jesus was in the tomb three days and three nights.
David, related by blood to Christ, saw Christ in the Psalms which he wrote down.
Solomon expressed the Wisdom of God in his Books of Wisdom.
The Prophet Daniel saw the Holy Trinity through the Three Holy Youths in the furnace of Babylon.
The Prophet Isaiah saw Christ the suffering Servant.
The Messiah was foretold by prophets as Teacher, King and Shepherd. Let us in these last few days before the celebration of the Birth of the Savior on earth, read one, or at least one part, of their writings (for example, in the Book of Genesis, the Book of Exodus, the Book of Proverbs, or simply the Psalms) and let us renew our links with our ancestors in the Orthodox Faith.
Holy Forefathers and Fathers, pray to God for us!
Rev. Myroslav Dumych