Feast of St. George Martyr
We are sure of this because Christ rose from the dead, and he will never die again.
Death no longer has any power over him
Romans 6: 9.
The triumph of Christ over death became the triumph of the saintly martyr George whom we remember and honor today. He was so irrevocably grounded in the truth and victory of Christ's Resurrection that he did not question or doubt its reality. It became the guiding force of his life, not at all producing doubt in his soul.
He recognized that Jesus Christ has come to invade every form of life and death and to infuse death with his own never-ending life. Christ is capable of doing that because in his own dying He absorbs all the power of death into himself, tastes it an overcomes and conquers it.
In choosing to follow the Lord instead of the mighty might of the Roman army, St. George understands and sees that Christ in his own body swallowed up and defeated death which man introduced into the world. In submitting to the torment of Golgotha, Christ answers the tormentor and seducer. He bears in himself the full strike of the blade of death and receives to himself the all the bitter fruit due sinners of the world. With overwhelming grace, in one mighty transference, all the delinquent accounts of the history of human sin and failure are paid by the sinless person of the Son of God. He received the agony of our penalty and provided the ecstasy of our deliverance.
No wonder St. George is so impressed and becomes so unchangingly loyal to the values of the Risen Saviour. How could he do anything else? So convinced is he about the promised truth of the Lord, even humiliation, being ostracized from friends and peers in the world does not adversely affect him. What greater reward could he possibly seek other than eternal life with the Victor over death?
Unquestionably the values and reality of resurrection influenced the fidelity of St. George which is precisely why he is venerated over the centuries by faithful believers. He saw there is salvation in no one else; there is truth and freedom in no other; there is eternal life only in Jesus Christ. In recognizing Christ's truth, he does not depart from it and it becomes the strengthening inspiration for the devotion and loyalty he offers the Lord even when simple temptation tries to lure him away. The values and insights of the world cannot convince him otherwise.
St. George comes to see that it is only because of his own sinlessness that Christ is capable of achieving man's salvation and redemption. Only the magnitude of an unencroached-upon, untainted soul could absorb the awesome dimension of sin that Christ encountered on the cross. The sins of the entire human race engulfed him, but
death could not hold or overwhelm him. In God's Son is found a sinlessness that could take on total guilt of all humanity and still survive an encounter with divine justice. Christ exhausts the power of sin, breaks the power of death and comes through in triumph for us.
After arriving the conviction that Christ died for him, that Christ redeemed him, that Christ saved him, St George became a faithful disciple, even to his own death and martyrdom.
I have been crucified with Christ; and the life I live now is not my own: Christ is living in me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and delivered himself up for me Galatians 2: 20.
St. George recognizes easily that our salvation takes care of our eternal security. Yes, as a soldier/warrior he had the security and safety of the empire behind him, but it is as nothing compared to the values Christ offers. Our sincere and serious identification takes care of our daily walk of victory. By identification, we come to understand that the life of Christ is now ours and ours belongs to him. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me Galatians 2: 20. St. George came to realize that what happened to
Christ happens to him, to us. Christ is crucified. I am crucified. Christ is buried. I am buried to sin. Chris is risen and I rise with him. Identification is the theme song of the epistles of St. Paul, our heavenly patron.
When we identify with the Lord and live by faith, sin's power is broken, we are then free to walk in the Spirit, liberated to become the persons our heavenly Father wants us to become. It is Christ Jesus living his life in us and through us as individuals, simply by our allied choice in grace as individuals. Our relationship to him is that we are saved, we are his, we are forgiven, we are accepted, we are children of God. We become devoted brothers and sister of the Lord. We are secure in the Cross. We love the peace and assurance that our daily walk is pleasing and honorable to him.
One who is safe and secure, in the love of Christ as St. George was and sustained by heavenly grace no longer hears from a distant God. He listens to and is guided by the God of the universe, the God of the Cross, the God of the empty tomb, the God who loves him enough to bring him to a personal relationship, sustains him in the security of that relationship and opens the door to paradise for him.
This is Resurrection victory; this is the victory in life that St. George looked for and received. This the opportunity afforded each of us. Like St. George, let us accept its rich grace and make his life our own.