Your message has been sent, you will be contacted soon
Revista Armonii Culturale

Call Me Now!

Prima pagină » CREDO » SARBĂTORI » Spiritual, useful word about the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, the Commemoration of St. Imp. Constantine and Elena and about Heroes’ Day in the life of our righteous Church…

Spiritual, useful word about the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, the Commemoration of St. Imp. Constantine and Elena and about Heroes’ Day in the life of our righteous Church…

Spiritual, useful word about the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, the Commemoration of St. Imp. Constantine and Elena and about Heroes’ Day in the life of our righteous Church…

The evangelical story recorded by the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke 24, 36 – 53

And while they were speaking these things, He stood in their midst and said to them: Peace be with you. And they, being frightened and afraid, thought they saw a ghost. And Jesus said to them: Why are you troubled and why do such thoughts arise in your heart? See My hands and My feet, that I am Myself; feel Me and see, that the spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see Me as having. And saying these things, he showed them his hands and feet.
And they still disbelieving with joy and wondering, He said to them: Have you anything to eat here? And they gave him a piece of roasted fish and a honeycomb. And taking, he ate before them.
And he said to them: These are the words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, in the prophets and in the psalms must be fulfilled. Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he told them that this is how it is written and this is how Jesus Christ must suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. And let repentance be preached in His name for the forgiveness of sins to all nations, starting from Jerusalem.
You are their witnesses. And behold, I send upon you the promise of My Father; but you stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high. And he led them out to Bethany and, raising his hands, blessed them.
And while blessing them, He parted from them and ascended to heaven. And they, worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they were all the time in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen!…

The ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ – the ascension of humanity to heaven

The ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ with his body to heaven, in glory and power, marks for the Church the end of the Easter period and the anticipation of the event of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit descends on the disciples because our Savior Jesus Christ raised humanity in the light and impenetrable glory of the Holy Trinity, becoming a point of radiating grace to all people.
Between the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Descent of the Holy Spirit – Pentecost or Pentecost, the group of disciples went through a preparatory stage, in which their minds were opened, through the wonderful appearances of the Risen Lord Jesus, to understand the mystery of the Resurrection.
Gradually, the disciples were cured of ignorance and unbelief and were fully convinced that Jesus Christ the Risen from the dead is not an illusion or a phantasm, but is the Savior who had previously been crucified and buried.
During the last meeting with the disciples, the Lord ascended to heaven, renewing the promise of sending the Holy Spirit upon them, as „the promise of the Father”, when „they will be clothed with power from above”.
The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke offers two different chronologies of the Ascension of our Savior Jesus Christ

The ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ is reported twice by the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke, in chapter 24 of his Gospel and in chapter 1 of the book Acts of the Apostles. Although Saint Luke refers to the same event, in his two narratives he makes some differences that express his own theological interpretation of this saving act. In the 24th chapter of his Gospel, Saint Luke places, from a chronological point of view, the Ascension of the Lord at the end of the Resurrection day, the first day of Easter.
The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke says that the Resurrected Lord Jesus appeared among his disciples, he entrusted them with his Resurrection, removing any trace of doubt: „Touch Me and see that the spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see Me that I have…”.
Then, the Lord took the disciples out to Bethany and, „raising His hands, He blessed them. And while He was blessing them, He separated from them and ascended to heaven”. The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke also writes in chapter 1, from the book of the Acts of the Apostles, that our Savior Jesus Christ „showed Himself alive according to His passion through many evident signs, showing Himself to them for forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God”.
In this last account we have expressed the teaching adopted and confessed by the Church. The Ascension of the Lord took place forty days after Easter, when the Lord Jesus Christ, through repeated appearances, entrusted the apostles with the reality of the Resurrection.
This apparent contradiction of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke, who in two biblical writings accepted as normative by the Church, offers two chronologies of the Lord’s Ascension is also presented by Father Professor Constantin Preda in his last book.
In order to understand the intention of the Apostle and Evangelist Luke, it must be said that the Gospels and the other biblical books are not chronicles that present exact calculations on a historical and material level.
In other words, the Bible or Holy Scripture does not provide an answer to the question of how many steps there are from Jerusalem to Jericho, but is concerned with transmitting the divine message that derives from the saving acts performed by Jesus Christ.
In his Gospel, the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke strongly links the Resurrection with the Ascension, bringing them closer to the point that he places them on the same day, because he offers a theological interpretation of the two events.
For the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke, the Ascension, i.e. the return of the Son to the bosom of the Father with assumed human nature, passed through death and resurrection, deified by divine grace, took place at the same time as the Resurrection from the dead, when the body transfigured by the power of the Holy Spirit passed to a new eschatological condition, being full of the glory of the Godhead.
According to this correct theological interpretation, the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke places in his Gospel the Resurrection and Ascension on the same day. In the book of the Acts of the Apostles, Saint Luke says that our Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven after forty days, because he insists on the process of training disciples as witnesses of the Resurrection and preachers of it in the world, a function which, guided by the work of the Holy Spirit , will lead to the spread of the Church. The period of forty days when the Resurrected Lord appeared led to the inner transformation of the apostles to be direct witnesses of the Savior Jesus Christ and His Resurrection.
It does not mean that the apostles and disciples gained an informative knowledge about the Resurrection, but, in a full and direct way, they experienced the Resurrection of the Lord through the meetings with the Risen Jesus Christ. The testimony of the Holy Apostles about the Risen Lord Jesus Christ became the foundation of the Church.
About changing the way and the way Jesus Christ is present

The last meeting of our Savior Jesus Christ with the disciples and the Ascension to heaven, presented in the book of the Acts of the Apostles, express the end of His earthly activity and the cessation of the way in which He was present in the world until then.
The savior Jesus Christ ascends to heaven to make possible the coming of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and the formation of the Church as a synax of people filled with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ the Lord, according to his words „behold, I am with you all the days, until the end of the age”, never separated from the Church, but with Pentecost the inner, spiritual presence of the Risen Lord was inaugurated.
Orthodox theology testifies that the Holy Spirit makes Jesus Christ present in the Church and in each of its members.
This is very beautifully expressed in the liturgical Anaphora, when the celebrant of the Eucharist prays to God the Father to send the Holy Spirit over the gifts of bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Saint John Chrysostom, interpreting the words „he showed himself alive according to his passion by many evident signs, showing himself to them for forty days”, says that our Lord Jesus Christ Risen shows himself to the world not so much with the physical likeness, but by His power, so that His divine glory and majesty may be revealed to all. The Risen Savior Jesus Christ is the same as the eschatological Jesus Christ, the One who will come at the end of the ages, full of power and glory, therefore the icon of the Ascension to heaven is identical to the icon of the second coming: „This Jesus who ascended from to you in heaven, so he will come, just as you saw him going to heaven”.
Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae says that the Ascension also meant the ascension of humanity to heaven, because Jesus Christ is One of the Trinity and as Man: „We cannot know what the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven actually meant.
It was not only an entrance of the body into the divine light unseen by the eyes of the body, like the other hidings after some appearances, but it was a real elevation as a man above the plane from which he could show himself whenever he wanted.
He ascended with His humanity to the highest deification, above the spirituality of all the angelic steps, so that He could also be as a Man at the right hand of the Father. He also rose as a man to the rank of King of the Kingdom of renewed humanity. Now he also took as Man all power in heaven and on earth”.

About the Commemoration of the Heroes of the Nation

In the Romanian Orthodox Church, it was decided that on the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, all the heroes and soldiers who gave their lives on the battlefield or in different situations for the defense of the Orthodox faith, the ancient homeland and the dignity of the Romanian nation should be commemorated. Starting from the words of the Savior: „Behold, I go to prepare a place for you, and I will come again and take you to Myself, so that where I am, you may also be”, the Church prays for God to rest the souls to all those who are asleep and especially to the heroes, who made the ultimate sacrifice for their brothers and sisters of faith. Saint John Golden Mouth says that the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ was celebrated not in churches, but at the graves of the martyrs, those true heroes of God, who professed their faith in Jesus Christ during the terrible persecution unleashed against the Christian Church. (Cf. Marius Nedelcu – – June 2, 2011 / May 19, 2015)

Ascension of the Lord – Heroes’ Day, national holiday of the Romanian people

Thus, in this context, on Thursday – May 25, 2023, on the Feast of the Ascension and Heroes’ Day, after the Holy Liturgy, memorial services for the heroes of the Romanian nation will be held in all the cathedrals, churches, monasteries, cemeteries, troits and their monuments in country and abroad.
At 12.00, the bells of all Orthodox places of worship will be rung as a sign of gratitude to the heroes who sacrificed themselves for the nation, faith and country.
We remind you that the commemoration of the heroes of the Romanian nation on the feast of the Ascension was decided by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church in 1920. This decision was confirmed by two other recent synodal decisions from 1999 and 2001 by which this day was proclaimed as a national holiday church.
Law no. 379/2003 regarding the regime of graves and war memorials proclaimed the fortieth day after Easter, the celebration of the Ascension of our Savior Jesus Christ – Heroes’ Day, as a national holiday of the Romanian people and the Romanian nation.
At the same time, we specify that at every Holy Liturgy, Romanian heroes, soldiers and fighters from all times and from all places are remembered, who sacrificed themselves on the battlefields, in camps and in prisons for the defense of the homeland and the ancestral faith, for the wholeness of the nation , the freedom and dignity of the Romanian people.
(Cf. Press Office of the Romanian Patriarchate ––ziua-eroilor-sarbatoare-nationala-a-poporului-roman-106804.html – 19 May 2015 ).

Word – Panegyric on the Feast of the Saints Emperors Constantine and Helena

In the middle of spring, every year on May 21, God ordained that the Church should celebrate the two saplings full of the sap of the Spirit, the pearls of the Church, the illuminators and dispersers of paganism, those who resemble the honest and praised Apostles, the Saints Emperor Constantine and his mother, Elena.
In other words, through these saints, God worked in the world, weakening paganism and strengthening the Christian faith. “For whoever is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith.
Who is the one who overcomes the world, if not the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (I John 5,4-5)
So, Saint Constantine – Roman basileus between the years 306 – 337, was born in Naissus (today the city of Niš in Serbia), as the son of the pious Elena and the general Constantius Chlor, who had become Caesar of the western part of the Roman Empire (293 – 305).
After the death of his father, Constantius I (July 25, 306), Saint Constantine is proclaimed emperor of the lands of Gaul, Spain and Britain, having Maximian and his son, Maxentius, as co-regents.
In 311, he allies himself with his brother-in-law, Licinius, the new Augustus in the East after the death of Galerius, and fights against Maxentius, whom he defeats in the battle at the Eagle Bridge.
The victory against Maxentius, attributed to the help given by the „God of the Christians”, will definitively decide the liberation of Christianity from Roman persecution. According to the historian Lactantius in De mortibus persecutorum (On the death of the persecutors), the emperor Constantine, the night before the fight with Maxentius, was revealed in a dream that he would be victorious if he inscribed on the shields of the soldiers the letter X crossed by the letter P, i.e. chrism, representing the first two letters of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Regarding this epiphanic and theophanic event, there is also the account of Eusebius of Caesarea, from the Life devoted to the Holy Emperor Constantine the Great, in which we are described the appearance of the Holy Cross in the midday sky, above which was the inscription „In this sign you will overcome” (In hoc signo vinces).
Shortly after this providential event, as thanks to God, through Jesus Christ, Emperor Constantine promulgated, 1610 years ago, i.e. in the year 313, in Mediolan (Milan), an Edict by which Christianity was declared a lawful religion, i.e. allowed.
Apart from full freedom of expression for Christians, this decision also included: the recognition of the Church as a legal entity, the return of confiscated goods, as well as the granting of significant sums from the state treasury, for the construction of churches and the maintenance of bishops and priests.
Thus, through its rulings and consequences, the Edict of Mediolan was of paramount importance for the life of the Church and for the development of Christianity.
Also on a religious level, at the initiative and at the expense of the emperor, the first Ecumenical Council was held in Nicaea in 325, through which decisions and rulings were regulated, formed and proclaimed in matters of dogma, canons (issues of discipline secular and clerical) and cult.
History attributes to Saint Emperor Constantine the construction of numerous churches: in Rome, the church of Saint Peter and the one in Lateran; in Constantinople, the churches of the Holy Apostles, Saint Sophia and Saint Irina; in Jerusalem, under the direct care of the Holy Empress Elena, the church of the Holy Sepulcher, to which the discovery of the Holy Cross is also attributed, as well as the Church of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives; in Bethlehem, the Church of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In administrative terms, the Holy Emperor Constantine stands out by moving the new capital of the Empire, from Rome to Constantinople – the old Byzantium, a restored fortress that inherits the political institutions of ancient Rome, but also the cultural and spiritual traditions of the East.
By God’s order, shortly after Easter in 337, Saint Constantine fell ill, and Bishop Eusebius baptized him. It must be stated that the postponement of the Baptism by the Saint until before the public end was done for purely diplomatic reasons which, in the wider context of ancient history, made known its fruits in the following generations.
That’s why, „thanks be to God, who always makes us victorious in Jesus Christ and discovers through us, everywhere, the fragrance of His knowledge!” (II Corinthians 2, 14).
Blessed are you Christ, our God, the One who showed the fishermen too wise, sending them the Holy Spirit, and through them you hunted the world, lover of people, glory to You. (Cf. Rev. Dr. Mihai Zvorâște – sfintilor/documentar/panegyric-la-sarbatoarea-sfintilor-imparati-constantin-elena – 19 May 2015 ).

Dr. Stelian Gomboş

Facebooktwitterby feather

Despre Stelian GOMBOS

Stelian Gombos – Scurta prezentare – Nascut la 08.07.1977, in municipiul Oradea, judetul Bihor – Teolog, jurist si publicist – Absolvent a doua facultati: Teologie si Drept – Absolvent a multiple si diferite cursuri, stagii si sesiuni de pregatire precum si a numeroase studii, postuniversitare, masterale, de specialitate, atat in tara cat si in strainatate – Doctor in Teologie – Consilier la Secretariatul de Stat pentru Culte (SSC) din cadrul Guvernului Romaniei – Autor si coautor a 30 de carti sau volume de profil – Autor a numeroase studii de specialitate, lucrari, articole, eseuri, interviuri si recenzii – Initiator, organizator si coordonator a numeroase conferinte, seri duhovnicesti si evenimente spiritual – culturale – Participant la foarte multe simpozioane, conferinte, seri duhovnicesti si manifestari cultural – spirituale – Initiator, organizator, realizator si coordonator a numaroase proiecte, activitati sau campanii social – umanitare precum si actiuni sau proiecte caritativ – filantropice – Colaborator si participant la realizarea si desfasurarea a diferite evenimente cultural – spirituale, proiecte si evenimente social – umanitare sau comunitare – Membru a diferite organizatii, asociatii sau fundatii cultural – spirituale sau comunitar – sociale – Bun comunicator, colaborator, initiator, organizator, coordonator, orator, scriitor si vorbitor!… Eseurile: „Punct si de la capat ori ba?!”, „Romania in si din noi”, „A fi ortodox astazi!”, „Cand m-am intors acasa”, „Cine arunca primul cu piatra?!”, „Ipocrizia”, „Recunostinta”, „Dreapta socoteala”, „Incercarile vietii”, „Judecata”, „Constiinta”, „Preotul”, „Credinta”, „Pocainta”, „Rabdarea”, „Sinceritatea”, „Curajul”, „Unitatea”, „Demnitatea” si „Identitatea”, „Treizeci de ani de la Revolutie”, „Normalitatea” si „Schimbarea”, „Simplitatea” si „Intalnirea” precum si multe altele sunt tot atatea fericite prilejuri sau binecuvantate ocazii de a constitui obiectul sau subiectul unei intalniri, prelegeri, meditatii, discurs, carte ori conferinta, la care va fac aleasa poftire pentru a organiza si, deci, a fi laolalta/impreuna, spre a impartasi, in mod concret, asemenea valori sanatoase si principii comune, in acest an, cu care ne-a (mai) inzestrat, miluit si binecuvantat Dumnezeu!… Asadar, va stau la dispozitie, cu aleasa pretuire si deosebita consideratie!… Pastram legatura!… Dumnezeu sa ne ajute, tuturor, in continuare, in tot lucrul cel bun! Amin!… @Stelian Gombos Telefon: 0745/265661 e-mail: