Ephesians, 4:23-32

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

27 Neither give place to the devil.

28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let
him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may
have to give to him that needeth.

29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your
mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may
minister grace unto the hearers.

30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Be ye renewed and put on the new man, created after the image and likeness of our Lord. After the Resurrection, all things are renewed. We are renewed in spirit. The Church reminds us of this very fact for the week following the great Pascha is call the Renewal Week!

What can we do about his renewal? What do we need to do to renew ourselves? We read in scripture that we must take action, we must knock on the door, we must seek. St. Paul answers this in one of his Epistles to the Church in Ephesus.

We can capture the essence of his teaching a single word, PURIFICATION. Remember those joyful words from the Canon of Pascha: “Let us purify our senses and we shall behold Christ, radiant with the inaccessible light of the Resurrection,…”

Purification of the flesh is an easy concept to grasp, but how do we purify our senses? Again, we need only look to the Church for the answer. To paraphrase Saint Paul: put away lying, be not angry, don’t sin, and don’t hold any grudges.  He is teaching the Church to fulfill the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. But Saint Paul adds to the commandments delivered to Moses: “grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed”. How strange this must have seemed to his hearers. Beloved Orthodox Christians, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit after our Baptism. We are counted among the flock of our Saviour.

Christ has asked us to be like Him: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Christian, purify your senses, putting aside the tumult of the world and all the distractions and trappings. Seek after Christ!

Christ is risen!

Jesus Christ, the Merciful