No Feast Day?

Today is the Feast Day of St. Joseph in the Latin Tradition, the Holy and Fatherly Guardian of Christ the Messiah, Son of the Living of God, in His early years in human flesh. Also appropriately considered Spiritual Father of the Church. So where is the feast day in the Eastern or Orthodox Church? Are the eastern churches guilty of what the evangelicals do by perpetually ignoring the Virgin Mary, the closest human that will ever be to God?

The answer is no. There is a feast day of St. Joseph. But not alone:

December 2*. SUNDAY AFTER THE NATIVITY, Commemoration of Saint Joseph Spouse of the Theotokos, Saint James, Brother of Our Lord, and King David.

Here the commemoration of St. Joseph as father of the church is ACTUALIZED as James the first born son of Joseph in David’s line, as explained in the last three posts. Proceeding from Jacob and Joseph and ending with Jacob and Joseph, James became the first Bishop of the Church of Jerusalem with the Temple still intact. Resulting in a perpetual liturgical tradition, validated at the Council of Niceae, and further codified by Sts. Chrysostom and Basil.

Kontakion of Joseph, David and James

Today, David the holy one is filled with joy. Joseph and James offer their hymns of praise, for the crown of glory of their relationship with Christ fills them with joy. They offer their hymns of praise to the One born on earth in a manner beyond description, and they cry out: “O Merciful One, save those who honor You!”

This is a great grace given to the See of Peter, severed at the end of the first millennium and one could say compensated for with the creation of the College of Cardinals. An institution now stacked for the continuity of corruption and even immorality.

flower Byzantine cross
flower Byzantine cross

Undoing the Boast of Lineage

In the last two posts we see how the pride of lineage, represented by the artful deception of Jacob and his mother for the Messianic promise was interrupted with the struggle between Jacob and the angel of God in Genesis. With a new name and limp, Jacob (Israel) has a vision of Heaven opened and angels ascending and descending. With a direct reference to this vision while reintroducing a context of duplicity, Jesus the Messiah calls on the charitable heart of Nathaniel:

JOHN 1:47 Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”48 Nathaniel 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.”49 Nathaniel answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 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.” 51 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.”

Christ the Messiah with His Mother have the remedy for all things presented to them by the converted heart of mankind. Now how could the knot of a boastful messianic lineage that began with warring first-borns in the womb of Rebekah be undone? If Jesus the Messiah had a brother, then maybe that would be a way.

Scripture describes three James’ specifically. There is James the brother of John, the two sons of Zebedee, and James son of Alphaeus, distinctly mentioned together when Jesus chose His apostles (Luke 6:12-14). Tradition has it that Alphaeus was an uncle to Jesus, so this James (also called the Lesser in tradition) a first cousin. Not a brother but close. There is a third James with the “brother” descriptor mentioned by Paul in Galatians:

Galations 19: I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother.

The use of the term brother for relatives is common in the middle east but if this were a first born brother of Jesus, he would be of Joseph from his former marriage.

Various traditions, including that of the Latin Church believe that there are only two James’, and that James of Alphaeus (the Lesser) are the same as this brother of our Lord that Paul found in Jerusalem. The Eastern Orthodox churches believe that there are three. If this sounds unbelievable witness what Paul says in Galatians in his next sentence:

Galatians 19: I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.

Unless he frequently makes a point of saying he is not lying, it sounds like Paul himself was surprised to find out that Jesus had an actual brother.

A discussion on the James’ in the New Testament can be researched from the works of the first Church historian Eusebius and related commentaries. There are also apocryphal works that describe this third James.

But do we need these?

What should be more convincing is that the Eastern Liturgical calendar has three separate feast days for each of these James’ including for “Holy Apostle James, Brother of God, First Bishop of Jerusalem” (October 23). Thrown from the Temple at Jerusalem, this James was also martyred for the faith. He was called James the Just, known for his humility, maybe a cutout of his father.

But we rightly call the first two James’ apostles because Jesus appointed them among the twelve. Why is the third James an apostle? This is answered in a prayer from his feast day:

Kontakion of Saint James

When at the completion of time, God the Word, the Only-Begotten Son of the Father, came down to us, He established you, admirable James, as the first Shepherd and Teacher at Jerusalem, a faithful steward of the Mysteries of Faith; wherefore we honor you as an Apostle.

There is a surety here because the Divine Liturgy or Mass is an eternal event. A Liturgy from that time is as real to God now as it was then. It is a building block of the future resurrection to Eternal Glory. This is why attempts to “retire” a Liturgical form such as the Latin Mass are senseless. New liturgies may be started but to do away with a Liturgy is impossible.

In the genealogy of Matthew Chapter 1 we see the lineage from Jacob to Joseph and end with a new Jacob to Joseph. At this point the Messiah of all races offers the title of Bishop of Jerusalem to His race in the first-born son of Joseph. Maybe a suggestion from His Mother. The knot of Rebecca is undone.

This is why orthodox churches even up to the 20th Century looked like synagogues. Could this be why the Orthodox liturgical traditions have more national identities and less emphasis on priestly celibacy? Here also the heroes from the lineage of the Messiah are saints in the Liturgical calendar. Prayers for self-government and their armed forces are included in the Liturgy.

There is a reminder of all this in the story of how God found a home in the charitable heart of Edith Stein, who became a Carmelite, a tradition rooted in the prophet Elijah. She was martyred by an evil whose only defeat will be through Christ. She was canonized by miracles witnessed by a Melkite priest, descendants of the same orthodox apostolic lineage from Bishop James of Jerusalem, but now in union with Rome.

St. James “brother of the Lord” icon on the throne of the Church of St. Mark in Jerusalem

So That No One May Boast

From the last post we see that after Jacob’s warring with Essau in the womb of Rebekah, Jacob now must war with God for heeding his mother and stealing the birthright that would lead to the Messiah. His war with the Angel of God left him with a new name, Israel, and an affliction. Often needed to break the pride of those destined to be united to God, the mark of Christianity. So that no one may boast. Witness how the story of the betrayal, burial, and resurrection of Christ the Messiah was subsequently foretold in the story of Israel’s son Joseph and his betrayal, burial, and reemergence (Genesis 37).

From this point the People of God urge on the coming of the Messiah, the day for God’s answer to Abraham that He will provide the Lamb of sacrifice. So that God Himself will offer up His own Blood for man. Witness how Moses emerges from purgatory and Elijah from his hiding place to urge Jesus on to His crucifixion at the mountain of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17). The dream of Jacob is fulfilled. Heaven has opened up.

The lineage cannot boast but in Christ the Messiah.

LUKE 3:8. Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.

And how could God be conceived in the flesh without the boast of parents? Witness Joseph’s humiliation from the virginal conception of Mary (Matthew 1). But to eternally protect the incarnation of our Lord from the boast of lineage, God reached back before the fall of man that came from Adam’s sin of pride. To create the most exquisite creature every created and ever will be. Who will never boast but in God and His grace, but in whom we all can be proud. Who alone has the grace to undo the knot of pride tied by Rebekah.

The War of First-Borns and the Limp of Jacob

The war between first-born brothers is from the ages, beginning with Abel and Cain (Genesis 4). It is ongoing. A war was even apparent in the womb of Rebekah as Jacob grabs Esau’s heel (Genesis 25:26). The title and blessing of first born in this chapter was forfeited by shallowness first and then stolen through deception (Genesis 27). An often despised story, but nonetheless leading to Christ the Messiah.

Why did God keep silent? Or did He? Did He not confront the birthright thief as the Angel of God resulting in a handicap (Genesis 32) for him and a reminder for us of his deception? And until when?

Romans 3:25. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished. 26 He did it to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

1 Corinthians: 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that NO ONE may boast before Him.

If the Messiah came from Esau’s first-born birthright, one might be weakly able to say His descendants could boast. But descendants of Jacob’s deception could not. We are justified by Christ, not His lineage.

Hebrews 12:22-24. What you have come to is Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem where the millions of angels have gathered for the festival, with the whole Church in which everyone is a ‘first-born son’ and a citizen of heaven. You have come to God himself, the supreme Judge, and been placed with spirits of the saints who have been made perfect; and to Jesus, the mediator who brings a new covenant and a blood for purification which pleads more insistently than Abel’s.


Troparion of Saint James

O Holy James, as a disciple of the Lord, you received the Gospel. As a martyr, you displayed an unyielding will. As a brother of God, you have special power with Him. As a hierarch, you have the right of intercession. Intercede therefore with Christ God that He may save our souls.

Authority Before Mysticism

There is a tradition in Apostolic Christianity that interprets the abrupt change in order of the two apostles running to witness the empty tomb:

John 20

3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb…

Scripture breaths the life of revelation at many layers, some yet to be known, but the traditional interpretation of this change in sequence is that while the mystic, here represented by John, transcriber of the Book of Revelation, may see first, the event is not official until God’s authority takes witness, here represented by Peter, the Holder of the Keys.

So with the visions and revelations of conditional prophesies of mystics, their manifestations’ admission await the official.

Troparion of Saint John

Apostle beloved of Christ God, hasten to deliver a people that lacks any other defense; for He accepted that you lay your head on His breast. He will also accept your prayer. Therefore, intercede with Him, O Theologian, that He may disperse haughty nations, and beg that He may grant peace and abundant mercy.

Before the Crucifixion

On the night of Jesus’ betrayal, a small army of soldiers appeared in a disproportional display of force against the King of Kings, Himself unarmed and ready to offer the Eternal life-giving sacrifice for mankind.

John 3 : Judas therefore having received a band of soldiers and servants from the chief priests and the Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. [Douay-Rheims]

Why would Providence allow this disproportionate display of force right before His sacrifice for mankind? Could this be to articulate the only means to end the warring ways of nations, against the innocent and defenseless. Indeed His response to Peter’s not unreasonable reaction to the situation of attempting to defend Him speaks across time:

10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.

 11 Jesus therefore said to Peter: Put up thy sword into the scabbard. The chalice which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

Hereby Jesus tells the true and only way for wars to be avoided so that the innocent need not even take up their sword to defend themselves. Namely it is His offering from the cross, His flesh and blood from the cross in the Mass and Divine Liturgy, the Sacraments, that is the remedy for avoiding war.

This is why the Virgin Mother’s apparitions of Fatima occurred to remind the faithful of the means to avoid World War I and then World War II. This is why the principalities of the world had to attack the priesthood before forcing the Iraq war on nations. This why the orchestrated pandemic had to limit the offering of the Divine Sacrifice in preparation for the war looming on our doorstep in current times, even to the point of canceling the Easter celebrations all over the word in 2020.

The remedy is so simple.

And lest anyone think that Jesus’ declaration to Peter to put away his sword was in anyway a message to deny the right to self defense, as the cowardly media and propagators of wars would have you believe. Think again. Because that would mean that Jesus, God in the flesh, must have “forgotten” to tell Peter or anyone of His disciples to put away his open carry during the three years they might have carried it during His public ministry.

Judith 16

“Begin a song to my God with tambourines;
    sing to my Lord with cymbals.
Raise to him a new psalm;
    exalt him and call upon his name.
For the Lord is a God who crushes wars;
    he sets up his camp among his people;
    he delivered me from the hands of my pursuers.

11 Years ago, Fall 2011

Eleven years ago in this time of the year, 100’s of thousands of Russians, including Vladimir Putin, visited the Holy Relic Belt of the Theotokos on display in Russia, believed to be knitted by the Virgin Mary herself. The belt or cincture is normally stored on Mt. Athos, where the Beloved Disciple authored the Book of the Apocalypse.

https://web.archive.org/web/20111221084234/http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/20/59072684.html

On the Traditional Liturgies and the Fifth Ignatian Rule of Discernment

In bleak or desolate times, there is a good rule of thumb that has a formal teaching from the founder of the Jesuit order. It is the fifth rule of discernment on knowing what to do in difficult times.

“In time of desolation never to make a change; but to be firm and constant in the resolutions and determination in which one was the day preceding such desolation, or in the determination in which he was in the preceding consolation. Because, as in consolation it is rather the good spirit who guides and counsels us, so in desolation it is the bad, with whose counsels we cannot take a course to decide rightly.”

In other words, avoid making any major changes when you are compromised by a difficult situation. Rather hold fast to what you had before the bad times.

This is really enough said for those that want to limit the more traditional Liturgies for newer ones. And since those newer rites were developed in the “day preceding such desolation”, the availability of both can be seen as a preparation for such bad times.

The rule could also put a lid on those ideas in governments that depend on false flag operations. Causing a bad event to induce a change. An idea that has found historical use in Communism and other tyrannical ideologies. Rather a bad event should be an excuse to hold fast to traditions.

Creation in Suspense

Genesis 1: 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

This is the beginning sentence of scripture, announcing the creation of the world, “formless and empty” with the Spirit of God hovering above it. The sentence portrays creation, including mankind, incomplete and in suspense anticipating the descent of the God to complete His work. The travails of the nation of God before this descent witness to an anticipation.

And when did He finally descend?

At Your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was revealed. For the Father’s voice bore witness to You by calling You His Beloved Son; and the Spirit in the from of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. O Christ God who have appeared to us and enlightened the world. Glory to You! (Troparion of the Theophany)

And when did the nation of God receive formal completion? When would more nations of God be propagated to counter the divisions of Babel?

At Pentecost of course.

Pentacost Troparion
BLESSED ARE YOU, O Christ our God, who have filled the fishermen with wisdom by sending down the Holy Spirit upon them; and who through them have caught in Your net the whole world. O Lover of Mankind, glory to You!


Pentacost Kontakion
WHEN THE MOST HIGH came down and confused the tongues, He divided the nations, but when He distributed the tongues of fire, He called all men to unity. Wherefore, we glorify the Holy Spirit with one accord!