ARE YOU STILL MINE?
With the commencing of the Lenten Season, we see numerous stories, articles, and documentaries about Jesus. We have those who believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is the second Person of the Holy Trinity, Son of God and Messiah. Then there are those who believe he is/was a great prophet- nothing more. Some believe he was celibate, and there are those who believe he was married. The list of pros and cons is endless. So, who is this Person we celebrate at Christmas and Easter?
The world has many pieces they believe would fit to form a complete puzzle of this unique yet mysterious Man/God, however, most times the pieces are altered. Truth is, they immediately are found to be facts made up to fit what is accepted as 'motivated reasoning' which is described as “a pervasive tendency of human cognition.” In other words, if a fact supports what we want or think, we accept it as truth- with no proof necessary.
With the onset of so much false or fake news across social media- truth has become relative. It exists to serve many perceptions. It is malleable. So too are scriptures, for we see regardless of the many proofs and actual admittance by Church authorities that Scriptures are flawed- it is becoming a known fact, that people don’t want to know or see beyond what comforts them, for it is easier to use what they believe shaped their lives even though they may not live according to what they read- it is good enough for them. [But Truth itself comes from one perfect Source and that is Jesus Christ, God, the All in All].
That’s all great if you are looking for a trivialized spirituality which satisfies your conscience with regards to having a spirituality or obligation to God especially during these two most sacred Liturgical seasons; but you must ask yourself- “Is this what you want?” or do you want to really enter into a spirituality and know the Person of Jesus Christ?
Accepting anything or everything handed to you despite the discovery of what was not true or factual does not deepen your relationship and you are cheating yourself and God. Knowing facts never available to you before opens up a whole new dynamic whereby you gain the fullness of and richness of Jesus Christ- vital to the salvation promised to us by God at the time of Adam and Eve's Choice. Who doesn’t want to know what was always intended by Him? Without this knowledge, how can one say they truly are capable of building a relationship between God and you, and thereby living your fullest life on your journey back to Paradise?
The Eeshan Religion’s foundation and beliefs are safe guarded with the intention of bringing you to the fullest and richest way back to God with clarity via Enlightenment as never presented before.
Join us on this most Sacred “way” to finding your center, your focus and your own spirituality despite: age, race, color, creed, gender identity, and anything else which divides and separates us as a family under the All in All, the One, Who is most loving and selfless with regards to love, loving kindness, and mercy. The God Who gave us not a life without value or one of sheer existence, but one that gives merit and worth as we participate in and allow ourselves by choice to be led back to what Jesus called “our inheritance” as children of God.
Though each Rite, whether Eastern or Western tradition provides for, we invite you to follow the Eeshan Religion (www.eeshanchurch.org) and see how our beliefs truly reflect your worth by witnessing the depth of our Merkabahalic, Kabbahlic, Mystic roots tracing back to Jesus from His birth to His death in ways that will fill your heart and soul beyond your greatest dreams.
It goes without saying during this solemn season that we recognize Jesus Christ- True God, True Man. Who together with His Wife, sacrificed Their time here on earth not only fulfilling God's Will, but giving up Their Will for love of us. So with that said, is Jesus worth a thought, a prayer, or maybe even fasting- in return for your life everlasting?
*Below we have provided a history of the LITURGICAL YEAR provided by the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh which, though we differ on certain beliefs, we find to be one of few exceptional writings in presenting a way of entering into these mysteries.*
THE LITURGICAL YEAR
THE BYZANTINE TRADITION
The liturgical year is a system of yearly church celebrations by which the faithful repeatedly relive the salutary mysteries of their salvation. In the liturgical year Our Lord Jesus Christ continues to live with us, to teach us, and to lead us to our heavenly destination.
The liturgical year, like a beautifully painted iconostasis (cf. Byzantine Leaflet Series, n. 14), again and again places before our eyes Christ’s sublime work of redemption in order to keep us intimately united to our Divine Redeemer. It inspires us and gradually forms a living Christ in us ” until we become a perfect man” (Eph. 4:13). It is indeed “a year of grace,” a year of God’s favor.
1. The Church follows the computation of time according to the civil calendar year. However, in the Byzantine Rite, the liturgical year begins on September 1st, while the Western Churches begin their liturgical year on the first Sunday of Advent.
The Byzantine Church inaugurated the first of September as the beginning of the liturgical year in honor of the victory of Emperor Constantine the Great (d. 337 A.D.), over his adversary, Emperor Maxentius, in 312 A.D. Prior to Constantine, Christianity was constantly exposed to persecution. But with Constantine’s victory, as attested to by St. Ambrose (d. 397 A.D.), the Church began a new life.
The liturgical year in the Byzantine Church ends with the feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist (August 29) , with whom the Old Testament also concludes. The New Testament, liturgically symbolized by the New Year, begins with the preaching of Our lord, as indicated by the Evangelist: “After John’s arrest Jesus appeared in Galilee, proclaiming the good news:-The time has come and the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mk. 1 :14-15). Hence the liturgical year is often referred to as “a year of salvation.”
The liturgical year is inaugurated by the message of the Prophet Isaiah, which Jesus applied to Himself : “The Spirit of the lord is upon me, for He has anointed me. He has sent me to bring the good news, to announce a year of grace (favor) from the lord” (lk. 4:16-19). In this way the beginning of the liturgical year symbolizes the beginning of the New Testament, inaugurated by the preaching of the gospel (good news) in the person of Jesus Christ, the Anointed One of God.
2. From the earliest Apostolic times the Christians were convinced that they must celebrate the saving work of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by recalling the salutary mysteries of salvation on certain days of the year. The starting paint was the weekly commemoration of Christ’s resurrection on Sunday.
Thus Sunday for the Christians became-the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:10) , supplanting the Sabbath of the Old Testament. Every week on Sunday the Christians commemorated the resurrection of Christ by the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, referred to by the Acts as ” the breaking of bread” (Acts 20 :7) . The Teachings of the Twelve Apostles, compiled at the turn of the first century, admonished the faithful : “On the Lord ‘s Day, after you come together, break bread and offer the Eucharist” (14, 1).
The early Church , commemorating the resurrection of Christ every Sunday, did not neglect the yearly commemoration of the glorious event and, from the early days, celebrated the Feast of Easter with great solemnity. As a matter of fact Easter became the core of the liturgical year and was referred to as “The Feast of feasts and Solemnity of solemnities.”
3. In the early centuries there arose a heated controversy as to the date of the celebration of Easter. The question was finally resolved at the First Council of Nicea (325 A.D.) when it was determined that Easter had to be celebrated every year on the first Sunday, following the full moon after the spring equinox. According to this rule, the earliest date upon which Easter can be celebrated is March 22, and the latest, April 25. But it always must be on Sunday.
Since the date of Easter changes from year to year, the Sundays, the holy seasons and the festivals that depend on Easter form the so called-Cycle of the Movable Feasts. The Movable or Easter Cycle begins four weeks before Lent with the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee, and serves as a liturgical preparation for that Holy Season.
The Great Lent, in preparation for Easter, starts on the Monday after Cheese Fare Sunday (cf. Byzantine Leaflet Series, n. 13). The sixth Sunday of Lent, called Palm Sunday in commemoration of Christ’s solemn entrance into Jerusalem (In. 12:1 2-19), introduces us into the Passion or the Holy Great Week, during which we relive the sufferings and the death of our Lord, endured for our salvation. Then, on Easter Sunday, we suddenly burst into the joyous celebration of Christ’s glorious resurrection.
On the 40th day after Easter we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension, commemorating the ascent of our Lord to heaven (Lk. 24:50-53 .) Ten days later, i.e. on the fiftieth day after Easter, we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost in commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit, when the Church was solemnly inaugurated (cf. Byzantine Leaflet Series, n. 3).
Pentecost is followed by the series of 32 Sundays, indicated by successive numbers, the first of which is called All Saints Sunday. The Easter Cycle of the movable feasts ends with the 32nd Sunday after Pentecost, known as the Sunday of Zacchaeus (Lk. 19:1-10).
4. The second cycle which influenced the formation of the liturgical year is-the Cycle of the Immovable Feasts, at the center of which we find the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, celebrated since the turn of the fourth century, on the 25th of December (cf. Byzantine Leaflet Series, n. 5) . These feasts are call ed-immovable because, unlike the feasts of the Easter Cycle, they fall on the same day of the month every year and their date never changes.
Eight days after Christmas, on January 1, we celebrate the Feast of the Circumcision and the naming of the Child Jesus, as indicated by Scripture (Lk. 2:21 ). On February 2, forty days after Christ’s birth, we solemnly commemorate the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple (cf. Byzantine Leaflet Series, n. 12). The Feast of the Annunciation, known in early days as the Conception of Our Lord, is observed nine months before Christ’s nativity, that is on the 25th of March.
One of the most ancient feasts of this cycle is celebrated on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, the manifestation of Christ’s divinity at His baptism, commemorated by the solemn Blessing of the Water on that day (cf. Byzantine Leaflet Series, n. 9). Then on August 6th we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Transfiguration (cf. Byzantine Leaflet Series, n. 18). Finally, on the 14th of September we commemorate the finding of the instrument of our salvation by st. Helen (d. 333 A.D.), as we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Venerable Cross (cf. Byzantine Leaflet Series, n. 8).
Thus our Church, through the annual celebration of the Lord’s feasts, repeatedly unfolds to us the riches of Christ’s merits and salutary graces.
5. In celebrating the mysteries of our salvation we cannot exclude the Holy Mother of God (Theotokos), since she played an important role in the economy of our salvation. And we are happy to know that precisely the Byzantine Rite is characterized by its high esteem and veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Already at the beginning of the liturgical year, on September 8th, we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, since Mary’s birth signaled “the beginning of our salvation” (cf. Stich era of Utia). In connection with Mary’s birth, since the eighth century, we celebrate the Feast of the Conception of the Mother of God, recently referred to as the Immaculate Conception (cf. Byzantine Leaflet Series, n. 36).
At the beginning of the 10th century the Feast of the Patronage of the Mother of God was introduced which with time became a great inspiration to the Ruthenian people in their filial devotion to the Blessed Mother of God (ct. Byzantine Leaflet Series, n. 1). Since the 8th century we also celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Mother of God in the Temple (November 21st).
There are several minor feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but the liturgical year ends with the oldest Marian feast, the Dormition, known in the Western Church as the Assumption. It is solemnly celebrated to the present time on the 15th of August (cf. Byzantine Leaflet Series, n.11).
6. The Church Fathers also included the commemoration of many Martyrs and other Saints in the liturgical year. The II Vatican Council reminds us that the Martyrs and Saints, being “raised to holiness by abundant graces of God and already in possession of their eternal salvation, sing constant praises to God in heaven and offer prayers for us” (ct. Decree on the Liturgy, n. 104). By celebrating the passage of the Saints from the earth to heaven, the Church also proposes them to us as so many examples of genuine Christian living.
The veneration of the Saints has a similar purpose. This began in the first century, first the Veneration of the Martyrs and then of the Apostles. Soon other Saints were added. Between the fourth and the fifth centuries the veneration of the Saints became a general practice, ceding the first place to St. John the Baptist (after the Blessed Mother and the Angels), in view of Christ’s testimony: “There is no one greater than John!” (Lk. 7:28). The Saints usually are commemorated on the anniversary of their death, since the departure of those “that died in the Lord” (Rom. 14:8) was considered by the Christians as a day of birth to a new and happy life with God.
The liturgical year is indeed a year of grace and our sanctification, keeping us in close union with Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The liturgical year helps us to become more and more Christ-like, it molds Christ within us. In a word, through the liturgical year Jesus Christ continues to live among us, He continues to teach us, He continues to lead us toward our eternal salvation.
It is said: "Whenever a timeless mystery enters into time, the most powerful positive vibrations of epic proportion bring a disruption of negative energies taunting these powers and causing change."
© 2021 ERCMSSE
Is to bring a transcendental, ‘ancient,’ mystical, beyond Merkabahalic and Kabbahlic way of being back into consciousness, not as one defined before, but by God’s directive, by and for love of God, in order to meet the spiritual needs of ALL people in these modern times.
We Are Here
To represent the true and complete teachings of Christ, the importance of His marriage to Mary Magdalen, and the role She played in God’s Salvific Plan; thus revealing the real reason for the Messiah(s) and how it is unlike any other interpretation given throughout history.
© 2021 ERCMSSE
© 2021 ERCMSSE