The Orthodox liturgy
If the Liturgy is the "thanksgiving" which people bring in a Eucharistic way to God, philanthropy is the continuation of this Liturgy, is the missionary witness about God's love to the humanity. Hence the Orthodox theology considers that the divine philanthropy celebrated in Liturgy can not be separated by the social witness of this fact - the social philanthropy.DOWNLOAD REFERAT
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At the basis of philanthropy, very often identified with Martha from Luke's Gospel , are the social aspects of the Liturgy. These two faithful women from Luke's Gospel are not at all opposed. On the contrary they are very complementary. Mary is the woman of prayer, the expression of spiritual life, contemplation while Martha is the social spirit of hospitality.
The social aspect must always be based on the spiritual one which is the fundament of our existence. And both of this two aspects one can find in the Liturgy. That's why we can say, without any fear to be wrong, that the Liturgy is in a way, or should be, the spiritual basis of any social philanthropy and the social philanthropy is the confirmation and the witness in the world of the gifts we have been given in the Liturgy.
"The ecclesial koinonia is constituted by the participation of the baptized in the Eucharistic communion, the sacramental actualization of the economy of salvation, a living reality which belongs both to history and to eschatology. While this emphasis is deeply rooted in the biblical and patristic tradition and is of extreme importance today, it might easily lead to the conclusion that Orthodox limits the interpretation of the Church to an exclusive worshipping community, to protecting and to preserving the Good News for its members.
Therefore a need was felt to affirm that the Liturgy is not a self-centered service and action, but is a service for the building of the one Body of Christ within the economy of salvation which is for all people of all ages."
So the Church is called to open towards the social dimension of the world, to heal the social, to transform its life according to the prototype Jesus Christ, through the power of the Spirit. St. John Chrysostom said once in one of his homilies that if you want to praise the Body of Christ don't ignore him when you see him hungry.
Don't praise him just in the church. Because the one who said: "this is my body" also said "for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me." "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family you did it to me."
The Church has this belief that within the poor it's Christ who asks for food, for water, for healing, for love. So the Christians are called to share with the poor all what they have, but first of all to share with them the love that God has given to us.
So "The liturgy after the Liturgy" which is an essential part of the witnessing life of the Church, requires:
o To re-affirm the true Christian identity, fullness and integrity which have to be constantly renewed by the Eucharistic communion. A condition for discipleship and church membership is the existential personal commitment made to Jesus Christ the Lord .
A lot of members of the Church are becoming "nominal Christians who attend the Church just as a routine". Often such people still find it possible sociologically or culturally or ethnically to relate in some manner to the Christian community. The re-Christianization of Christians is an important task of the Church's evangelistic witness.
o To enlarge the space for witness by creating a new Christian milieu, each in his own environment: family, society, office, factory, etc., is not a simple matter of converting the non-Christians in the vicinity of the parishes, but also a concern for finding room where the Christians live and work and where they can publicly exercise their witness and worship.
The personal contact of the faithful with the non-believers in the public arena is particularly relevant today. Seeking for a new witnessing space means, of course, to adopt new styles of mission, new ecclesiastical structures, and especially to be able to face the irritations of the principalities and powers of this age.
o The Eucharistic gathering means also public and collective action and therefore there is a sense in which the Christian is a creator of community; this particular charisma has crucial importance today with the increasing lack of human fellowship in the society. The Christian has to be a continual builder of a true koinonia of love and peace. « mai multe referate din Engleza