Advent Journal: Day 2

john of damascus

“Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
That he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths.”

“I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven.”

Lead me to pastures, Lord, and graze there with me. Do not let my heart lean either to the right or to the left, but let your good Spirit guide me along the straight path. Whatever I do, let it be in accordance with your will, now until the end.

Isaiah 2:1-5

Matthew 8:5-11

From the Statement of Faith by St. John Damascene

Come, O house of Jacob: let us walk in the light of the Lord.  There is so much dark, so much obscure in our human lives.  So many things we would know, and cannot; so many things we would see, but are blind. God gives us signs, markers by which to guide us, that we may climb his holy mountain.  The mountain:  where Abraham proved his faith, by offering up Isaac; where Moses lead the people when they came out of Egypt; where Jesus went to pray, and was transfigured before his disciples.  God leads us there, and must lead us there, since we have no strength of our own to climb it.  Otherwise, we would surely perish in the attempt.

When the Prophet illuminated that the Lord should make his mountain the highest of all, he meant that it would be clear for all peoples to see.  They would no longer be in darkness, but would find their light by its peak.  We find the Way by going on the Way; we reach the summit by climbing.  And this was to prophesy what the centurion said:  I say to one, and he comes. God says to his faithful “Come” and we come, for we are the sheep that hear his voice, both near and far.

The path is not our path; we would not have chosen it.  But like the Centurion, we know we cannot be heal ourselves by following our own path.  We must follow the path upon which God leads us, that leads us to the mountain, which is Christ, His Son.  All other paths that lead us away from the mountain, lead us away to death.  We follow the centurion up the mountain, and call God to lead us on.

St. John of Damascus, who knew that path was only clear when free of error, gave us the gift of the theology of Icons, so that the enduring presence of Christ and His Saints should not be taken from us.  He knew that path was His will, and did not turn aside from it.  In these days in which we prepare for the coming of Christ, let not my heart abandon Christ the mountain, but persevere through faith to the Summit, focusing only on that lofty peak—eternally blessed life with God, the Father Son and Holy Spirit, through faith hope and love, moving on the path of grace, fed by the virtues and the gift of reason, purifying our soul and body for the day when He calls us, that we come without delay.

~ by Alypius on December 4, 2017.

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