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THE ORIGINAL

April 23, 2023

THE ORIGINAL
With the new technologies and software it so easy to be deceived these days as to what the original is and which ones are copies? Even if we see things with our eyes or grasp them with our hands, we can still be deceived. We have even seen people performing surgery that weren’t doctors and people flying commercial airplanes that were imposters, not pilots. I am told that some world leaders even have doubles for security reasons. Well rest assured, there is only one me, which is more than enough to keep my poor wife’s hands full!  
Good morning, it is Thomas Sunday. It is a day where we remember the Apostle who had to see and touch the wounds of Christ in order to believe. The disciples’ doubt is not surprising as we too still have our doubts, otherwise why do we continue to make some of our bad choices? Why don’t we keep the Sabbath holy and love all of our neighbors as if our existence depends on it? And why don’t we love our spouse with humility as Christ loves the church? 
Well, back to the story at hand. There were many witnesses to the greatest miracle in the history of creation: the created killed the Creator, and then God arose from the dead and saved the dying unbelieving human race from the dark clutches of hell. The followers of Christ, then after their leader’s arrest, forgot all of His prophesies concerning the things about to take place. They did not believe the miraculous story that the Holy Myrrhbearers reported. Do you remember what the angel told these Myrrhbearers? “And the angel answered and said to the women, “Cease being afraid, for I know that ye seek Jesus Who hath been crucified. “He is not here; for He was raised, even as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord was lying. “And go quickly and say to His disciples that He was raised from the dead. And behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him. Behold, I have told you.” [Mt. 28:5-7] Now hear the words from the Gospel of Saint Luke: “And there were Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the Mother of Iakovos, and the rest of the women with them, who were telling these things to the apostles. And their words seemed as nonsense before them, and they kept on disbelieving them. [Lk. 24:9-11]
The profits centuries before the birth of Christ foretold us: "Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." (Psalm 16:9-11) “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.” (Psalm 16:10) "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." (Daniel 12:2) "Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead." (Isaiah 26:19)
We too forget those prophesy as we dilute ourselves back into our dark corner of a world that is in need of a Savior. It seems so easy for us to forget the formula for salvation, with distractions and our lack of belief! Hear the words written by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and All Ukraine: “Some people think that Christ as the Victor over death should protect from earthly temptations and evil those who love Christ and live in Him, so that nothing evil can touch them. But it is not the case. Christianity does not relieve a man from temptations of this world, it gives a man gracious strength for fittingly overcoming them. God’s Grace makes a believing man undefeatable.” 
Listen to these closing words: Then He saith to Thomas, “Bring thy finger here, and behold My hands; and bring thy hand, and put it into My side. And cease being unbelieving, but believing.” [Jn. 20:27] Just how much do you believe? There is only one Original and everything that is, is His! And I thank God I have found the true church without imitations. Christ Is Risen!!! 
Fr. Gabriel Weller 4-23-2023

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