Orthodox Talks in English – No. 37 – More Than That, Blessed Are Those Who Hear the Word of God and Keep it!
Hearing Christ’s marvellous teachings, one woman cried out to Him: “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts which nursed You!” But our Lord answered: “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Is Christ really belittling His Mother, as Protestants frequently claim? How can He call “those who hear the word of God and keep it” more blessed than she who gave birth to God in the flesh?
Using the Holy Fathers as a guide, Father Kosmas examines what Christ really meant by this statement, which seems to contradict the Orthodox veneration of the Theotokos as most blessed of all creation. Futhermore, he addresses how miracles, prophecy and the Word of God relate to each other.
The following questions are also discussed: how should Orthodox Christians regard “Saint” Mary MacKillop? Is prophecy more effective than miracles and God’s Word? Why doesn’t Christ praise those who believed in Him through miracles? Is it permissible to hate those with whom we are at war? Is it our duty to try to bring those around us to Christ? What is meant by: “the Word of God energizes”? What is “anger without passion”?
Other topics covered in this talk include: the delusion of “Orthodox protestants”; why not everyone who comes to Christ for healing is worthy of praise; how the Holy Fathers saw Apostle Thomas as a stubborn resister of truth; the spiritual schizophrenia of those who were at the same time astonished and offended by Christ’s wisdom and miracles; the rebellion of Jewish youth who confess that the Messiah has already come; how Christ uses everyday events to bring people to faith; and one priest’s realisation that humility is more important than knowledge.
Talk Duration: 208 minutes
Chanting Duration: 26 minutes
With the blessing of
HIS EMINENCE METROPOLITAN HILARION
Archbishop of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia