February 17th, 2013

Triumph of Orthodoxy 2013

Today we celebrated the Triumph of Orthodoxy, or the end of iconoclasm. We brought icons, images, holy cards, and crosses to be blessed. The homily is inevitably about the final defeat of iconoclasm and the restoration of the icons to the churches which occurred on the first Sunday of Lent in the year 842 with the Synod of Constantinople.

Fr. Pavlo, whose third child is expected to make her debut in a few weeks, gave a homily on the abuse of icons and the outrage it should cause. He did not mean the wood and paint icons like those we brought to be blessed, but the living icons made of flesh and blood. He asked us why we, living icons re-presenting Christ to the world, allow hunger, racism, and war to be perpetuated. How we in the church can stand by as untold millions of flesh and blood icons of Christ are killed, caring more about a sports game on TV or the latest tech gadget being released than the people dying around us in the Holocaust, the Holodomor, or the abortion that surrounds us in numbers so high he couldn’t bear to count them.

Fr. Pavlo said others might disagree and they were welcome to debate him, but that we cannot protect wood and paint if we will not protect flesh and blood. He challenged us: if we will not protect life from natural conception to natural death, we might as well take all the icons, crosses, holy cards and images that people brought to be blessed and smash them outside on the ground. What good are they to us, he asked, if we will not protect the living icons of Christ, like the unborn, disabled, and elderly among us?

If you can visit the parish’s sick and elderly homebound or volunteer a few hours to any of the local ministries that work to promote the dignity of human life, please contact Father Pavlo.
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