Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015. The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! Fr. Stavros has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0
Listen Now. We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.
ENGAGED: The Call to Be Disciples
Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20
Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side; do not be faithless, but believing.” Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and My God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” John 20: 27-29
Good morning Prayer Team!
Today’s reflection is about Jesus as “Lord.” In Greek, the word for Lord is “Kyrios”. “Kyrios” is also used in Greek in the way we use “Mister” in English. “Kyrios Georgios” would be how “Mr. George” is addressed. “Kyrios” is used as a title for the Lord. From this word we use the vocative “Kyrie” when asking the Lord to have mercy. “Kyriaki,” which is the Greek word for “Sunday” denotes that the first day of the week is supposed to be “the day of the Lord.”
After the Resurrection, Jesus appeared to ten of His Disciples in the upper room where they had had the Last Supper. Judas had killed himself and Thomas was absent from the gathering, that’s why there were ten Disciples present. This was on the evening of the Day of the Resurrection. The Disciples were at first nervous and then joyful to see Jesus resurrected from the dead. They told Thomas, who told them that he wouldn’t believe that Jesus had risen unless he saw the mark of the nails with his own eyes and placed his hand in the side of Jesus.
Eight days later, the Disciples were again gathered and this time Thomas was with them. Jesus appeared to them and this is where the verses used today were said. After Jesus invited Thomas to see the mark of the nails and for him to place his hand in Jesus’ side, Thomas made the highest “confession of faith” in the New Testament, as he addressed Jesus as “My Lord and my God,” (John 20:28), which in Greek is “O Kyrios mou kai o Theos mou.” Thomas is the only person who used both of these words in the same sentence in addressing Jesus.
There are a couple of instances where Jesus, in speaking, uses both “Lord” and “God” in the same sentence, connecting both words. For instance in Luke 10:27, after Jesus has been asked what are the greatest commandments, He answers “You shall love the Lord your God (Kyrion ton Theon imon) with all your heart, with all you soul, with all your strength and with all you mind.”
There are a few instances in the Bible where the use of the word “lord” doesn’t refer to Jesus, but rather to a landowner. In Matthew 18, we read about servant who owed his “lord” money and he implored him “Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” (Matthew 18:26) His “lord” forgave him all the debt. But this servant came upon another one his servants who owed him a mere fraction of what he had been forgiven. The man ordered his servant put in prison. Witnesses went to their “lord” to report what happened, and the man who could not forgive his servant was sent away to prison. In this case “lord” refers to something akin to “the lord of the manor.”
We exist in relation to the Lord in two ways. First if we think of Him more like the “lord of the manor,” then at very least we are His servants who do His bidding, who also do our share “around the house” in meeting the responsibilities He has given us. However, Jesus as Lord is much more weighty than being “lord of the manor.” He is our Lord and God, yet we are His “subjects”. We are His children, who depend on Him for sustenance, who look to Him for help and support, and like good children, we take delight in honoring Him. Looking to Christ as both Lord and God helps us to remember that He is not only our provider, but He is our Creator. We came from Him, our sustenance comes from Him, our joy is from Him, everything good that we have is from Him.
If we never pray, or worship, or repent, or read, or love, it’s hard to look at Jesus at the Lord of our lives. However, when we look at Him as Lord of our lives, it becomes much easier to repent, to worship, to read, to pray and to love. This is why checking in with prayer on a daily basis is so important. It reminds us that someone greater than us made us, still works around us, and provides our destination and our purpose and our hope in reaching both. Today’s prayer is the Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim, which combines “Lord and Master,” which in the prayer are said as “Kyrie ke Despota.”
O Lord and Master of my life, do not permit the spirit of laziness and meddling, the lust for power and idle talk to come into me. Instead, grant me, Your servant, the spirit of prudence, humility, patience and love. Yes, Lord and King, give me the power to see my own faults and not to judge my brother. For You are blessed the ages of ages. Amen. (Holy Cross Seminary Translation)
Refer to Jesus as “Lord” at least once a day in prayer!
With Roger Hunt providing today’s Daily Reading: Listen Now.
These readings are under copyright and is used by permission. All rights reserved. These works may not be further reproduced, in print or on other websites or in any other form, without the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA, Apolytikion of Abbot Marcellus © Narthex Press, Kontakion of Abbot Marcellus © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and used by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Photo Credit: St. Herman Monastery
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