所以現在我要告訴你們－我在這裡做的是什麼，以及你來這裡是為了看什麼。難道是我的衣服嗎？這線香？還是這教會中的其他細節？就好像有些人問我為什麼聖像前的花是紅色、白色一樣。不是的，這些完全不是來教會的重點。我們來這裡，我們預備一切，因為聖禮儀是運行於社會性的存在之中(a social way of existing)。每個人從家中或是工作崗位來到這裡，我們現在來到同樣的時空中。我們看著彼此，站在彼此身旁。現在我們首先把自己帶到主前。我們也將我們所愛的人獻上，那些活著、也包括那些我們永遠摯愛的逝者。不僅如此，我們還將宇宙萬物與我們一起帶到主前。
我所談論的，不是因為你做了壞事，而應該感覺到的那種健康的羞恥。我談論的是另一種不必要的、不健康的羞恥。因為羞恥意味著害怕，害怕敞開自己。為什麼？因為你害怕有人會說你的英文不夠好，或者害怕有人會說你沒有符合某種理想的形象，是嗎？這就是害怕存在(the fear of existence)。如果不敞開自己，向別人封閉自己，是因為你害怕別人會看見你的軟弱、疾病。這疾病就是你不願意敞開自己。
2014.11.30 Andrew the First-Called Apostle – The Community of Love
St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 4:9-16 BRETHREN, God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off-scouring of all things. I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
The Gospel of John 1:35-52 At that time, John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “Where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And he found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! ” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”
Fr. Jonah’s Sermon:
Today we are so happy to have so many people and so many students with us. So I was thinking of not giving a typical sermon about the Gospel because most of you are not even Christians, but just to let you know that today you have had a taste of the very original, the first Christianity. Why? Because, you know, I come from the Greek island of Patros, where St. Andrew, the first of the disciples called by Christ, was crucified. We have his grave there, his prison, and his relics – not all, but part of his relics. He was crucified in a cross like an X, which is why the university and all the public buildings have this [diagonal] St. Andrew’s cross, which is the same that you see in the flags of England and Scotland.
It is very interesting that the Greek word for Andrew means brave, and he was brave because Jesus went and there were some who followed Him, though they were a little embarrassed to speak to him. So Jesus turned and said, “What do you want?” And it is interesting that they asked Jesus, “Where do you stay? Where do you live?” because Jesus had said to them, “Come and see.” And later, when again Philip called Nathanael, he said, “Come and see.”
Today you came to see, to see the same thing. Yes, you don’t, see Jesus himself somewhere, although we believe [He is here] and there are holy people like saints who see him in the Liturgy, like St. Porphyrios, my spiritual father. And on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday we will have Litugy, [as we did today], and on Saturday someone will be baptized. But we see his body and his blood. They are not symbols: it’s life; it’s living.
And it is very important that when Andrew and these men stayed and talked with Christ, they shared what they found with others. Peter and Andrew ran to their brother and said, “Waa! We found the Messiah!” And you see the same thing with Phillip and Nathanael; he said, “We found the Messiah!”
It is very important that they did not say, “We found the truth,” or “We made a discovery and found a new theory.” You all study, and I study as your classmate, and we hope to make some discovery, as you must if you go for a PhD. But it is very different here. The truth is a person; it is not an abstract idea or theory. And about this person is everything.
So now I will talk to you about what we are doing here and what you came to see here. Is it my clothes and the incense or other details of the church, as some people have asked me why are the flowers white or red? No, this is not it at all. We came and we prepared because the Liturgy is something that works in a social way of existing. Everybody was in his house or his business, but now we come to the same place and the same time. And we see each other, and we stand next to each other. Now we bring ourselves first. We bring the people that we love, those who are living and those we will love forever even though they are dead. And we bring all the universe with us.
So the Liturgy is not a performance, as in a theater, where you have a ticket and your seat and you see what is going on. We do it all together. This is why first the people bring the bread and wine and you see that I took it through the whole church. I could have put it here on the altar from the very beginning and not done all that walking around. It is because we bring it all together through my hands, the hands of the priest. It is like the dragon boat, where there is somebody who gives the orders and the others are pulling the oars.
And where do we go? We go actually to where we really exist. WE go to our union a unity with everything. Because, you see, Christianity is not a religion; at least the Orthodox Church is not. It is this ecclesia, which means the gathering of the people in the presence of Jesus Christ. So we are offering all the universe to God because an Orthodox priest cannot do the Orthodox Liturgy alone – cannot – because you finish my prayers. The Liturgy is the most social event that exists and as that happens we are offering all of the universe and ourselves to God, and to each other. Then God the Father accepts this offering.
You may ask, “Why do we offer?” It is not because we want to bribe God. If you know a little bit of philosophy, you may know something about the philosophy of the gift. We give because of love. We give also because this universe does not have legs, does not have the mind to go to God. So this is the meaning of offering, which is love, uniting what is separated. Because we are separated in space and time, and this separation is not a good thing.
Then we have something more,.God the Father accepts this and then the Holy Spirit changes this bread and this wine into His Son. So we ask the Holy Spirit to change the bread and the wine, and also do a second thing: to make us one. So this is important. You see here the lights in the ceiling. (From one point of view this analogy is not accurate, but it gives you a small example.) You see here, when the electricity comes, there is the same electricity to everything and there is light. But if I turn it off, the bulb is nothing.
So God become human. He became human once before in a very unique way through the Incarnation. And He becomes in this way in every Liturgy. It is the same way that Jesus Christ had; it is not a new incarnation. Why does He become human? (I do not know if you know this, but I would like to talk about it later.) He loves us; it is so crazy. If you love someone, you want to kiss them, to embrace them, for the bodies to be united.
Christianity is not a philosophy, and does not want to you to absorb the teaching of God. If it was like that, there would have been no reason for God to become human. And if you wanted to eat something, you could eat the Gospel: buy a book and eat the book. But God wants us to become one flesh, to become so close to that there is no one else so close. Even the husband and wife, they cannot be so close. And it is to unite us. How can we say we are brothers since we don’t have the same father, right? But, Yes, now we have the same blood, the blood of Jesus Christ. So the Holy Communion is not an individualistic thing. If I receive, then I receive also not only for God, but to become one with you. And there is something more, because it is not only God coming to us, it is an opening: we open to accept Him because if I don’t want Him, He will not force me, of course.
This is a very big problem in Chinese society, which is not open. For those of you who study psychology, you may know that there are one hundred fifty ways in Chinese to speak about guilt, and one hundred and thirteen way to express shame. And the statistics and results of psychological studies show that a Chinese kid of two years old already knows what shame is, but an American kid of this age does not understand, only twenty percent do. Why are there so many ways to say the word shame, like with Eskimos, who are always with snow, they have about seventy words to express snow. It seems that the most important feeling in Chinese culture is shame.
I’m not talking about feeling shame because you did something bad, but shame means fear, fear of opening myself. Why? Because somebody will say you don’t speak good English, you are not so good as you are supposed to be, right? This is the fear of existence. Instead of opening, you close to the others because you are afraid they will see your disease. What is this? It is the disease is that you are not opening. So this is the Holy Communion. It is our opening to God. Some people ask “Why should we receive the Holy Communion?” This may show that the person cannot open because I could ask them why would you kiss your girlfriend or your wife or your boyfriend. In Chinese culture, people may say, “We don’t kiss.” Or as they taught us when I went to language school, we shouldn’t say “I love you,” it’s not a good word. We say we have it in our hearts. This means your heart is like a graveyard. But things cannot stay in the grave always, because then they become like ghosts.
So here we open to God. God opens to us first, and then we open to Him also. And by accepting God, we accept everybody. Somebody may say to me, “I don’t believe in God.” I will say to you, there is a very big discussion about this and we cannot speak about it now. But I would say to you that you must believe in something. Whether you have religion, and most of you do not, you believe that tomorrow you will go to your school. But for those, who know mathematics, this is not true at all. Why, because we are a very complex system. If in mathematics we cannot solve the problem of three bodies, to solve the equations of where they will go, we cannot, so we must have approximations. Imagine all the billions of molecules in my bodies functioning, and yet I am sure that I will go to school tomorrow, the same school as you go to. Is this a belief? Yes, it is.
When we talk about God in Orthodoxy, we are not talking about an abstract power. But we speak about “persons,” about a family, about a community. What community? It is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We do not speak about an abstract of God. And this community of love, this communion of love, this coexistence. What is coexistence? When you leave here today, you may like me or you may not like me, but I still exist; it does not matter to me because I take my existence from my biology – my body, and my passport. This is not a good type of existence because you can see in the Holy Trinity, if the Father leaves or the Son leaves or the Holy Spirit leaves, it is finished, over. So, you see now that the love becomes life, and this is why God became human; it is to give to our human nature, which is good but we scratched it and made it dirty. So He becomes human. The Son of God becomes human, and takes the flesh and makes my flesh better and unites us all. Many persons, but one body. The body of Jesus Christ.
I hope that I did not make you very confused. But you should understand this because God does not want us to stop existing. In the East, it is the opposite, you must dissolve, right? It is like a river and you put a drop of water into it, the drop disappears. Nagarjuna, the Buddhist philosopher says that there is salvation, but you cannot find the person who is saved. Christianity uses the way of the Trinity, saying that I exist because I love you. And this love, which is in the body of Jesus Christ, becomes life. So the real life is not our biological functions. We are not logical robots, no matter what the philosophy of robots says. We exist because we love, in this loving community, in the Liturgy.
I think I must stop here so we can eat. And then if you want, you can stay and talk more, and I will be very glad to have a good conversation. And we will also have liturgy on Tuesday at 12:30…[details about the liturgies in the following week] Thank you so much and may God bless all of us.
Recorder: Prof. Baker
 John 1:43-51