What is Orthodoxy?
In the Creed we confess the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Well – other communities do that too – so what’s special about ours?
Our Lord has instructed the apostles to preach the gospel of the world and to call all peoples to obedience to the Gospel. Since the times of the apostles, the church has spread, first across the Roman Empire, and soon beyond, all over the world into many languages and cultures. But always there was a desire to be and remain a church beyond all human differences. But this one church has been, from the beginning, a communion of churches of different landscapes in fraternal communion, without one being the mistress of the faith of the other. So today the Orthodox Church is divided into a multitude of local churches with their own faces, according to the needs and circumstances of their country and their native culture.
But we are one in faith: in the creation of the world through the Father, her redemption through the Son of God, the coming kingdom of God, in which we participate here and now in the Eucharist and the other mysteries, in the vocation of everyone for sanctification and Deification in the Holy Spirit.
The church has already come a long way, and so we gratefully draw from the treasures which the fathers have handed down to us. Nevertheless, the Christian’s gaze is not directed backward, but toward the coming: the kingdom of God to which we are called; because Christ is here and here our Lord and calls us to his service.
So we know ourselves in the living tradition of the faith of the fathers.
Is not this something terribly outmoded? That is certainly true – modernity is also no question when it comes to salvation. Much more important is the question of reality: the reality of God and of man. And above that we find in the fathers the same answers that we find with our Lord and with the apostles.
Every time asks their questions, including ours. So it is the task of the church to answer the questions of the time so that it is understood. Orthodoxy is not the repetition of yesterday’s answers to questions from yesterday, but the ever-new answers to Gospel Today, without adapting to a modernity, without being attached to a past.
For: God is with us.