Fr. Andreas Agathokleous
It’s easy to say:
* The world’s going to pieces
* Other people are so difficult
* It’s impossible to change
Just as it’s easy for us to judge the behavior of others, so it’s easy to justify ourselves, to be content that we’re doing well in our own dealings. We’re like an invalid who stops a course of medication they’ve been told to take, in the belief that time alone will bring them a cure.
If we want ‘virtue, boldness and freedom’, sanctity, then we need to be decisive, humble and zealous in order to bring freedom from the passions and to experience peace and joy in the heart.
It’s important to understand that the last word in our life belongs to Christ, who overcame every form of death; not to ourselves, who reek of death even in the good things we do. Awareness of this brings hope, because strength and stability are to be found in Christ ‘who came out conquering and to conquer’ and, with him, in all those who relied upon him. The fight we’re called upon to wage is to lay down our will and desire, so that we’re not resisting God’s grace.
The world ‘lies under the power of the evil one’, since we live in the state after the fall. This is why it’s in a mess. But still, we find ourselves in this world, we experience the effects of the fall of our first ancestors, we find it hard and we make life difficult for others through being who we are, rather than being the person we could be. This doesn’t mean we should constantly carp and cavil, but at the same time, we ought not to be too easily satisfied. What is important is ‘to do the good work of our God’, because ‘night is coming when no-one can work’ (Jn. 9, 4). The ‘work of our God’ is to minster to our salvation and that of others. The years we live will not return and they’re vital and critical. Every day there’s a new opportunity:
* to enjoy the various gifts he’s given us
* to thank him from our heart for what he’s given us
* to sort out any irregularities in our relationship with him
* to look at ourselves and to change
* to pray
* to know the truth
* to repent and to make our way towards the end times with determination, vigor and hope
If, as Archbishop Anastasios of Albania says ‘God doesn’t bless a void’, it’s easy to see how important it is for us to be doing something, even a little, something small and insignificant, so that the Lord can do what we can’t and make ‘our work’ great and important.
Then we see the world and other people in a better light and ourselves free of burdens. Our life will have meaning, our time hope, and our faith in Christ joy.