Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Short Word on The Word

On this Sunday afternoon, here is a short commentary on "The Last Gospel" of the Liturgy of St. Gregory (and St. Tikhon, for that matter), reproduced from the most popular Byzantine prologue in the Eastern Church:

In the beginning was the Word (John 1:1).

The Logos -- the rational, intelligent Word -- existed in the beginning. This pertains to the Divine Nature of our Lord Jesus Christ. Brethren, by saying, "In the beginning," do we think that the Word of God has a beginning? Or that there was a certain date in time when the Son of God was born of God the Father? In no way! For the birth of the Son of God can have neither a date nor a beginning, since time is a condition of this transient world, and it does not affect the eternal God, and therefore does not affect anything at all that is of God. Can the sun remain the sun, if the sunlight is separated from it? Will a man remain a man, if his mind is taken away? Would honey still be honey, if its sweetness is separated from it? It cannot. Even less can one conceive of God as separate from His Logos, from His rational Word, from His Intelligence, from His Wisdom -- the eternal Father separate from His co-eternal Son.

No, brethren, the words are not about the beginning of the Son of God from God the Father, but rather about the beginning of the history of the created world and the salvation of mankind. This beginning is in the Word of God, in the Son of God. He began both the creation of the world and the salvation of the world. Whoever would speak of the creation of the visible or invisible worlds, or of the salvation of mankind, must begin with the Beginning. And that Beginning is the Word of God, the Wisdom of God, the Son of God. For example, if someone were telling a story about boating on a lake, he might begin it like this: "In the beginning there was a lake, and on it sailed a white boat." No reasonable person would interpret the words, "In the beginning there was a lake" to mean that the lake came into existence on the same day that the boat sailed on it. Thus, no rational man could take the words of the Evangelist, "In the beginning was the Word," as though the Word of God came forth from God at the same moment that the world was created! Just as the lake existed for thousands of years before the boat sailed on it, so the Word of God existed for a whole eternity before the beginning of creation. O Son of God, co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, enlighten us and save us.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

-- from The Prologue from Ohrid.

(Hat tip: Ad-Orientem)

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home