May 16, 2021
Sunday after the Ascension of Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ
Sunday of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council
John 17:1-5 - When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed." (ESV)
Eternal Life in Christ - In asking to be glorified, Jesus is asking his Father not to give him glory so much as He is seeking to reveal the honor the Father had already given Him. The Son's willing obedience and his glorious deeds reflect back on the Father. They are then passed onto us as the gift of salvation we receive through faith.
The Gospel recounting the High Priestly Prayer is placed on this Sunday after Ascension because today we also celebrate the memory of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council held at Nicea in A.D. 325. It was at this Council when the Church affirmed that Christ was of one essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Vespers - Genesis 14:14-20, Deuteronomy 1:8-1, 15-17, Deuteronomy 10:14-21
Matins - John 21:1-14
Divine Liturgy - Acts of the Apostles 20:16-18, 28-36, John 17:1-13