Sotiris Stylianou


On Sunday 19 February we’ll hear in our churches the Gospel reading concerning the Last Judgement (Matth. 25, 31-46). In this, Christ describes the criteria by which we’ll be judged at the completion of the ages.

The criterion is that of practical love for other people. The Judge addresses a portion of humanity and tells them to enter into the kingdom which has been prepared for them because, over the course of their earthly life, they’d given him whatever he needed. When asked when they’d served him, he answered that by taking care of other people who were in need, it was as if they were ministering to Christ himself.

Those who have no place in his kingdom are accused of seeing him hungry, thirsty, naked, a stranger, sick and imprisoned and not giving him what he needed. When asked when this had occurred, he replied that since they hadn’t done this to the least of his brothers and sisters, it was as if they’d omitted to do it to him.

Christ, the King of those who rule and the Lord of those who govern, equates himself with all the poor and needy. And every contribution we make to those in dire straits is counted as generosity to Christ himself.

Do we, then, understand, that love in God, as well as practical love for other people, charity as we find it at many points in the New Testament, are the things which make us children of God and that all the Law and Prophets hang upon them (Matth. 22, 40).



Pemptousia Partnership

Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person ­– the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.


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