Greetings in the afterglow of the Glorious Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord. In the ecclesiastical cycle of the Church, this Sunday, the 7th Sunday after Pascha, we celebrate the Feast of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council in Nicea (325 AD). It is through the Fathers of this Council, that God has given us the Creed of our Faith, the Nicene Creed which we proclaim at each and every liturgy.
This Feast proclaimed Christ as having the same essence and honor as the Father. This Feast was fixed on the Sunday after the Ascension in order to bear witness to the fact that the Son of God truly became man and, being perfect man and perfect God, ascending into heaven and “sat at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).
The reason this Feast is celebrated just after the Ascension is that Jesus Christ, having put on our human flesh, accomplished the work of salvation and ascended to the throne of the Father. The hymns of the Ascension are all incorporated into the celebration of this Sunday too.
The greatest achievement of the participants at this First Ecumenical Council was to affirm with absolute clarity the New Testament Faith that, “the Son has in Himself the full nature of God” (Col. 1:19) They also concluded after intense debate and disputes for many years with the Arians, that God alone saves and is to be worshipped, they also concluded that clearly, according to the written Word and Holy Tradition, that Jesus is the Savior, Glorified and Worshipped with the same divine titles and honors as God the Father.
My dear brothers and sisters, this is the essence of this great feastday. The Creed is the summation of the truths about the Holy Trinity, the foundation of all Orthodox Christian truth. We owe a great gratitude to the Fathers of this Council, St. Nicholas, St. Spiridon and St. Athanasios the Great and others, for their foresight and commitment to the establishment of the Church of Christ.
Let us give thanks on this Sunday for all our Holy Fathers.
Glory Be To God For All Things!