Archimandrite Zacharias

Lecture by Archimandrite Zacharias. Adding to my repeat playlist.

Text is also available above.

Today, this stuck with me:
So we see from this that our identity—to be members of this great body—is far greater than any other human identity we may have, because in this body, as I said, we can enter the communion of grace, the communion of gifts of all the saints. When we prepare for the Liturgy, for example, not only the priests but all the faithful, we work in our secret room in our home. We work a little gift in preparing for the Liturgy. That is to say, we try to repent, to warm up our heart with the expectation of his gift, and we come to the Liturgy with this little gift. Each one of us to be members of the body of Christ has to have a small gift, and that small gift will be a key to open the door to the gifts of all the other members of the body.
We come to the Liturgy with a little gift that we have worked in the secret. In the secret—we mustn’t be seen by men. That is a rule of life: not to be seen by men, says the Lord, and that was the rule the mother of God had. That’s why the Most High beheld her humility and did great things to her. So in secret we must work. We must work out a little gift, fill our heart with humble dispositions, with dispositions of repentance, of humility, and even of love for God. And with a heart full of such dispositions we come to the assembly of this body, to the other members, and this gift we bring into the assembly. If we don’t bring any gift, we do wrong to ourselves and also we are not just to our fellows. We must all contribute something in this assembly. We must bring our little gift to this assembly, and this will open up for us the way to share in the gifts of all the other members who are gathered there together in the name of Christ, and that’s how we become rich in this communion of gifts, in this communion of grace, because when we assemble to form the body of Christ, the Lord himself is present, and wherever the Lord is, there are all the orders of saints and all angels. Wherever the Lord is, there are all the armies of heaven present, and that is the kingdom of God in the Liturgy, come in power in the Liturgy.
So when we go to the Liturgy, prepared with a little gift, and we invest this gift in the gifts the priest offers to God on our behalf, we put in those gifts all our prayers, all our repentance, all our humility, all our love, all our expectation we have of him, all our life, and we offer it to God through the words of the priest who does it on our behalf, “Thine own of thine own we offer unto thee, in all and for all.” Then God, who is faithful to us in his promises and his covenant he made with us in baptism, he does the same. He puts his life in the holy Gifts, the grace of the Holy Spirit, in making them his body and his blood, containing all the grace of the Holy Spirit.

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