Recently an Orthodox priest and his wife were discussing the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon with a small group of college-
educated 20-somethings. One young man supported the protesters and asserted, "Well, after all, Jesus was a communist. In the Book of Acts it says that the earliest followers of Jesus held everything in common. Each one gave what he could, and everyone had what he needed." A young woman observed, "Jesus was always on the side of the poor, the weak, the sick and the vulnerable." There was general agreement that Jesus Himself may have inspired and supported the protesters.
The priest listened quietly, but he finally replied, "Is it not possible that we could equally say that Jesus was the ultimate oligarch? After all, He created everything in the first place, and He continues to be the Lord of all." That statement provided some food for thought, but it was really the priest's wife who made the most trenchant observation. She said, "Yes, Jesus owns everything, but He also shares everything, even His broken body and spilled blood." Silence.
At the end of every Divine Liturgy in our church the celebrant stands behind the ambon and prays, "Every good endowment and every perfect give is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights." (James 1:17) In this season of Thanksgiving and in anticipation of God's greatest gift – the Incarnation of His Only-Begotten Son – we would all do well to be Eucharistic, or full of thanks, for everything God does for us. Whether we are politically with the Tea Party or the 99 percenters, spiritually as Orthodox Christians we receive, we offer, and we share all of God's blessings.
+ Very Rev. Michael Ellias
Member of the IOCC Board of Directors