Sunday, May 28 (15), 2023
Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Oecumenical Council
Acts 20:16-18,28-36; Jn. 17:1-13
Arius, the leader of the infamous heresy in the fourth century, denied the Divinity of the Son of God and His identity in essence with God the Father. The entire Church rose up against him; all the faithful from all over the Christian world unanimously confessed the Lord Jesus Christ as the Only-begotten Son of God, true God of true God, begotten, not made, of one essence with the Father.
Someone might think that it was just an incidental impulse towards the unity of faith; later, however, this faith was tested by fire, when the Emperor and nobility sided with the heretics. Neither fire, nor sword, nor persecution could defeat this faith, and it immediately came to the surface everywhere again, as soon as the external pressure was eased.
We see that this faith is the heart of the Christian Church, the essence of her confession. Glory be to the Lord Who keeps it in us! As long as it exists, we still remain Christians, albeit with many problems and failings; if it is gone, Christianity will be finished off.