«In which we lay aside all malice...»
1 Peter 2:1-10

On the Third Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of the Universal Church. This Sunday is also called Green Sunday. For after the world has been renewed through the resurrection of the Lord, it begins to flourish.

The universal church means the upper room where Jesus Christ ate the last supper with his apostles. In the same place the apostles gathered after the resurrection. Here also Christ appears to the apostles, the "living stone, rejected by men, but chosen and honored by God!" (1 Pet. 2, 4). The Church calls us on this day to allow ourselves to be "built up as living stones to a spiritual house, to a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices pleasing to God through Jesus Christ!" (1 Pet. 2, 5).

But what should man do and obey? St. Peter the Apostle says: “Put away then all malice, all falsehood and hypocrisy, all envy and all slander! Desires like newborn children for the unadulterated, spiritual milk" (1 Pet. 2, 1-2).

The Gospel (John 2:23-3:12) of that day tells of Nicodemus going to Jesus at night to ask the same question. The answer shocks him. Man must be born of new ones (John 3:5-6). Jesus is talking about Holy Baptism here. Because through them it is only possible to see the kingdom of God, through them a person is accepted into the Christian community of believers, whose head is Jesus Christ and is called the church.

Cleansed of all the wickedness of this world, Christians should, like "newborn children, crave the unadulterated spiritual milk" in order to grow in the faith.
What special food is it? It is no longer the heavenly manna (Exodus 16; John 6:31). Christians taste the word of God, they taste the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and thereby learn “how good the Lord is” (1 Pet. 2, 3). The Christian knowledge and understanding thus gathered, the spiritual sustenance of Christians and their faith as a whole, becomes “a stone on which one stumbles and a rock on which one falls. They stumble against him because they do not obey the word" (1 Peter 2:8).

But those who accept His word are a "chosen generation, a royal priesthood" and this generation proclaims the great deeds of him who "called mankind out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). . Each of those who are newborn, have tasted the Word of God, and seen its goodness is a living stone of the "spiritual house" we call the church.

Now then, let us "put away all malice, all falsehood and hypocrisy, all envy and all slander" and fashion our lives according to the Word of God as we grow up in our common and unanimous faith in the Church to obtain salvation. For we have tasted and seen "how good the Lord is" (1 Pet. 2, 1-3).

Rev. Dr. Diradur Sardaryan