Melkite Bishop Nicholas to Celebrate Divine Liturgy on Berkeley Campus, March 11th

The third in the monthly liturgies of the Melkite Outreach of Berkeley will be on March 11th, 5pm, at Gesu Chapel of the Jesuit School of Theology, 1735 Leroy Ave., Berkeley, CA. This is a week on Saturday.

The liturgy is usually celebrated by Fr Christopher Hadley (who teaches at the Jesuit School) and Fr Sebastian Carnazzo who is pastor of St Elias Melkite Church in Los Gatos, CA has told me: ‘This time we will be honored to host his Grace, Nicholas Samra, bishop of the Melkite Diocese of the United States, who will be celebrating the Divine Liturgy and giving us his episcopal blessing and exhortation.’

Hope to see you there.

Here is a recording of the Hymn of Lent: Open to Me the Gates of Repentance

The Divine Liturgy will be for Sunday, March 12th, which is the Sunday of St Gregory Palamas.

Years ago, I was told of a difference between East and West in the interpretation of the Transfiguration. St Thomas Aquinas, I was told, argued that Christ changed when he shone with light and this was an anticipation of the beatific vision; St Gregory Palamas, on the other hand agued that the apostles changed spiritually and they were able, temporarily to see the uncreated light of Christ. Through the sacramental life of the Church it is possible for all of us, by degrees to be transformed so that we can both witness and shine with the uncreated light of Christ.

I once raised this point, which I thought was a contradiction, with a Benedictine monk at Pluscarden Abbey in Scotland. He told me that I should ‘think liturgically’ and suggested that these two interpretations were not mutually exclusive. There might be a dual motion taking place in some way in that just as God comes down to us, so to speak, as Christ is present in the Eucharist, so in taking communion we are supernaturally transformed, potentially, and so are raised up to meet Him.

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