4 Nov. PRAVMIR. But if in this life we do that offend, insult, hurt and oppressed – how can you hope for mercy in life everlasting? What we are here to give and receive. What we sow we will reap. I think it’s a fairy tale? Well, of course! Here is a rich man and got a fabulous fate.
- What awaits us at the judgment?
- Coffee with sister Vassoi: Resurrection in the flesh
- Archimandrite Andrew (Cananas): Christ told us about the future, not to scare
- Tea with the Behemoth in the resurrection of the dead
- Archimandrite Andrew (Cananas): Why is God not our dreams and plans
Lazarus did not expect that God will reward him
The time has come – the rich man and Lazarus died. And richer States that he was buried (LK. 16:22). Details of burial not described, but certainly it was a big funeral, because the rich man was a famous man. And of the unfortunate Lazarus says that he was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. And of course, once there, he was amazed – how could this happen? I, a poor man, born in poverty, proabably in contempt of all people, naked, cold and hungry – are now in such a beautiful place in the bosom of Abraham, where it’s light, relaxed, nice and cozy!.. By the way, you know, what is Abraham’s bosom? Literally – the arms of Abraham, that is Paradise, the place of the glory of God.
And Lazarus did not expect this.
Some of us, for example, saying sometimes, “if after death go to Paradise!” In the area! And not just Lazarus was in Paradise – he was in the “center” of Paradise, as we would say now, in the bosom of Abraham. How beautiful! And suddenly Lazarus. Paradise was a surprise to him, and you know why? It is because during his lifetime he was not expecting from God a reward – unlike you and me. Lazarus did not expect that God will reward him for what he is so good – because I don’t consider myself a good. And we’ll consider it ourselves. Because once that light will be very surprised. Eternal life – it’s all a complete surprise, we will experience a real shock.
So Lazarus, the righteous one, was shocked, because it turned out in unexpected place – the place of great glory. Do you know why he got there? Because I never condemned the rich man, even to himself.
The rich man never noticed Lazarus but not hated him, did not feel ill will against him, not cursed, shouted expletives at him and don’t regret the fact that he was born poor. Instead he endured – as much as needed.
Lord, Your words convincing, but when I see the help
Sometimes I will say to someone: “a little Patience”. Yes, but how many suffer? When my problem will be solved? Okay, I’ll tolerate, but how much? Two months is enough? No, no need to bargain with God. It is not known how much to tolerate – for the sake of her husband, for wife or children, for the sake of yourself, your health…
Maybe two months, maybe two years or two decades, maybe forever. I don’t know. I only know that with God you can’t bargain and negotiate. We can only say: “Lord, give me strength to be patient. Let my soul will become hard as a rock, to have the strength to wait for mercy from You.”
And Lazarus did not complain, did not say, “Oh, God, why me? Why did You do this to me? How are You unfair, Lord! Look at this, from whose gate I lie! He’s having another feast, again he will be there, and I can only smell the smell of treats! Won him how many guests they are having fun, drink, eat and I’m starving… Why, Lord? Why am I like this?”. No, he didn’t say that.
And I said now instead, so many words because sometimes I hear: “why am I married! For that God punished me so? Why It is not sending me what I so long waiting for? Why slow?” Don’t say that. Don’t question God, you better turn them in prayer. And say: “Lord, I can’t understand why this is happening, but I know that You love me and You have Your plan. Know Your mind and heart more than mine, and understand You, I can not. So, I submit to You, but not as a slave who is forced to obey, because nothing else remains. No, I can begin to argue with You, get angry, cry, be angry, and to blaspheme You. But I choose obedience because I trust You. Do You love me?”.
And the Lord will say in reply: “I’m not going to reiterate that I love you. Just look at My hands. See – they pierced with nails. And my rib pierced by the spear. Do you think I love you? Go to Jerusalem, up to Calvary and look at the place where I put My Cross.” And when, once on Calvary, you shall fall on your knees in front of the cross and experience the love of God. “I do not love you? – the Lord will say. – I do not love you, thinking of you day and night? When you sleep, I think about you and help.”
Yes, Lord, Your words are convincing, but when I see the help in action? I’m still sick, still I suffer and suffer. I lost my baby – where’s Your love? “Now you can’t see it, says the Lord. And I don’t blame you – you’re human, you can understand Me. Can’t understand what I cooked, what My plan is. You don’t believe in a future life you will be rewarded”.
This is our problem. We do not believe in retribution from God. After all, if I believed, if we had a living faith, we would have no doubt in this.
Yes, in this life can not wait for the reward, what we expect, but there is another life in which the Lord will do it definitely.
In eternal life we don’t lose his “I”
Lazarus was not rewarded during the life of all. He was born poor, lived poor and died poor. But in eternal life, everything changed. “See? There is a continuation, the Lord is telling us in this parable. – You’ve got what, maybe you’re not going to receive here on earth. Trust Me, trust Me. Believe that there is another life is much more perfect, amazing and unique. And in this life you are waiting for is that while it is impossible to even imagine”.
If we could see what awaits us in eternity, then he would repeat the words of the Apostle Paul: “Take me, o Lord, take me! Because it is so wonderful to believe in You, that I want to see You live to see eternal life, enjoy it, do not linger here on earth. And I can’t wait to leave this world because I desire those gifts that You have prepared for me eternal life. I wish for eternal life, and wish of Christ.”
And we, ordinary people, not especially believe in God. And because I think only here in this life. I think what on earth awaits us, a worthy recompense, that all gets here. And if we don’t get a reward in the earthly life, it will pass in gloom, sadness and emptiness. But it’s not.
Lazarus suffered on earth, but after death he partook of pleasure that would not end. And the rich man had everything and lost everything. And being in that light, he saw Lazarus. Understand what’s going on? In eternal life we don’t lose his “I”, we know who we are. Some people think that death is the end; that when a man dies, he turns into ashes, the earth and all, only the grave. Even though dogs eat, let buried without a funeral – well, the end.
No, it’s not the end. This is only the beginning. Don’t believe? Your right. You may not believe it, you can close your eyes and, not seeing the light, saying, “Light does not exist, because I don’t see him”. Your right. But other people see the light. What can you do? That’s life. You have your own point of view on everything, but the story of the rich man shows that our “I” does not disappear after death. And therefore scary.
Our deeds, actions, all the properties of the individual “imprinted” into the soul and go with us into eternal life.
That is why it is very good if people were posovetuite shortly before his death. When everything is in order in this world, and after death you will not these sins and pangs of conscience. The Lord all is forgiven, you are reconciled with Christ, communion and received forgiveness at the cross on Calvary. That’s fine. And you’ll be yourself. Meet wife, children, friends and neighbors, and everyone you get to know each other. See of St. Nektarios, St. George the Martyr, the Martyr Marina Martyr Paraskeva, other saints, and we all look at each other.
You will meet with your children, but in the world we do not live in separate families of three, five or more people. No, there we’re all like brothers and sisters, United with divine grace. God of creation, the gods in the God that dwells in infinite glory.
Remember what the rich man says to Abraham? “Father Abraham! have mercy on me and send Lazarus to moist end of his finger in water and prohadil my tongue, for I am suffering in the flames of this” (LK. 16:23). You see, the rich man asks to take pity on him – now, when it burns the fire. But to make you regret, you feel sorry for yourself. The one who was merciful, he receives grace. This is evidenced to us by the Lord, but we can’t hear, and when we leave this life, it is too late. Later.
People can’t change after death
Dear rich, I really feel sorry for you. And I’ll never judge you, I will not say against you not a single word – because he can be in your place. And if you start to judge, I’m the same, even worse. “Yeah, see, the rich man did?” What have you done? And I? Aren’t we better? We, like him, is not repeated constantly: “Lord, have mercy on me! My God, have mercy on me!”
It is therefore very important in this life to learn all the time to repeat these words. Then in the future we will have mercy. Let us be merciful, to have mercy on us. Don’t judge, so that you are not condemned; forgive, and you forgive; comfort, soothe the middle – and its tranquility will be passed to your soul. But if in this life we do that offend, insult, hurt and oppressed – how can you hope for mercy in life everlasting? What we are here to give and receive. What we sow we will reap.
I think it’s a fairy tale? Well, of course! Here is a rich man and got a fabulous fate. What kind of a thirst tortured him in hell, how I wanted to feel on his lips a drop of water! But in hell there is no repentance. Why? Why not repent and change? Because you’ve been given by God enough time. Sixty, eighty, ninety years – imagine how many times you had the opportunity? From childhood to death! But you missed that opportunity. And the Lord says: “enough, you had enough time. More than enough”.
When was the last time you went to confession and took communion? Last Easter? On the assumption, or, maybe for Christmas? When? You’re always taking. “Not now, another time! Okay, next week I’ll go”. Next week! So the opportunity is missed. And people who have missed their opportunity five times in a row, not use it further.
As for the hour of death, then it is our actions and actions have never changed. That was the end. People can’t change after death, can not pass from one state to another – can not pass from hell to heaven. No way. And from heaven to hell – too. State of mind does not change. Earthly life is enough to be saved or, conversely, to go to hell.
That is why our life here is very serious. Just think – some eighty or ninety years determines our eternity! So. Just like the school. The child enters the first grade, learning becomes a senior in high school, and these school years define his future – where he will go then, what specialty you choose. And a few years spent in the University, in turn, determine what people will work until retirement.
So our earthly life. Child we say: “Son, you’re a high school student. We need to try. Going to try – and the University will succeed”.
God tells us the same thing. Your earth age (and many it really is almost a century) is sufficient for eternity. If you want a Paradise do smart. No, there is no need to invent some cunning ways – how can I fall into hell, but in Paradise!
Just be smart. How? “Lord, let it be not as I want, and how You want.” That is to behave intelligently.
And God will answer: “Live eighty years here on earth, as it should be – and in the eternal life waiting for you without ceasing happiness, warmth, peace, serenity and joy.” A reasonable behavior. Because talking about some of the martyrs – wow, a few days of torment, and now they are forever in Paradise, taste of eternal bliss!
See? A Christian must be smart.
And in this life we do that we forget
Remember that Abraham responds to the rich man his request? “Son, remember…” See – in heaven there is no place for hostility, and Abraham calls the rich man’s child, without malice – because when you hate someone, it’s not Paradise, it’s hell. And in heaven is love. But those who are in heaven cannot help those in hell. Unfortunately. And because hell is worse. The love of righteous cause greater suffering to sinners, without any desires first. “Child! remember that you received your good things in your life, and Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. and besides all this, between us and you a great chasm, so wanting to pass from here to you cannot, and also from there to us do not pass” (LK. 16:25-26).
That’s all changed. Remember how you lived. One of the Holy father, I read that in the eternal life of our mind, our thoughts will be perfect. There won’t be as hard on us after waking up in the morning, when the head is difficult to think and need some time to recover.
There mind will be clear – absolutely everyone, even those who had mental problems and mental development. In that light, we all very clearly we see the reality and remember all the things that brought us here. Because here we are now, unfortunately, many forget, and the truth (gr. α-λήθεια) is the direct opposite of what is forgotten (gr. λήθη). Our language strongly emphasizes the truth so powerful, undeniable and beautiful that it’s impossible to forget.
And in this life we do that we forget. Forget what we want from God, we forget to pray, forget to distinguish between good and evil, we forget that we are all people, and so hated by their neighbors who are just like us. Our conscience is like a sleepy, her mind seemed covered with a veil – we don’t understand what’s happening to us.
Passing by the temples, look at them as a normal building – nothing touches the heart, the mind is silent, when we see a place where a man can be revealed the Lord Himself and is the Eucharist, is Holy Communion. We are an indulgent smile, without thinking about what is happening in our lives, over how they are important, significant, and saving.
We live as a drunk or lethargic, not knowing what was happening. But when we leave this world, our mind wakes up, we finally see things as they are, but it will be too late. We understand that no one would laugh at, laughing about; realize that God is an Immutable Truth; that eternal life exists, that Christ is the One Who loves us incredibly much, and because my whole life we never accepted His love, do not take it now. And what now to do?
But in that light we will remember everything
That’s why I say that earthly life is very serious. Imagine what these ninety years, who can give eternal bliss? And how wonderful it will be! One Athonite monk, father Markel (he lived in the monastery Caracal and died a few years ago) was sick with cancer and was in pain, the pain was terrible. And once he appeared to the Holy virgin. She said, “be Patient yet a little while, will soon be next to Me. There you rest and you will enjoy eternal bliss.”
Here’s how. Very reasonable behavior is to suffer here then to live with God. Cancer ache is not at all easy, it’s a terrible pain that forced to moan and groan. I’m not saying that it’s easy. I have something else in mind. How you gonna root for – a year, two, three, five? Yes, it’s very hard, you know, and because you are compassionate and sympathetic. But then you’re always going to be happy! Are you going to glorify Christ and say, “Lord, thank You! Thank You!” – “But what about those five years that you were ill and suffering?” – I ask you God. – “God, this is all nothing compared to the kind of enjoyment I am experiencing! True, nothing. And You knew about it, and therefore allowed me to get sick. You had Your plan. And how could I then complain, how could angry and argue with You? I was part of Your plan! And now I see what waited ahead of me, what a pleasure”.
And Lazarus I enjoyed it – unlike the rich man who remembered all his sins and vices. Because if he didn’t, I sincerely say, “Lord, why am I here? What am I doing here in hell? Why am I so far from You? What I was doing wrong?” No, in that light, we will remember everything and therefore say, “I’m here because I was doing so-and-so, and not repented, mourned his sin, implored the Lord, kneeling before the Cross, to forgive me. I was cruel, that’s why I’m here.”
Remember that to know the reason for which will be in hell. Otherwise, otherwise, will say that God is evil and cruel. And in hell because no one resists, don’t argue with God — everybody remembers what he did. It is here on earth, we do the wise men say: “God, God!” if the Lord is just waiting till we save the world! Here we just think that we all know and there will come real understanding, and then we say, “God, You were right!” “I get to make four abortion? And never cry about their unborn children? – tell a woman. – So that’s why I’m here! And crying of my children, which I now hear constantly, won’t let me enter Paradise!”
We will remember all what you’ve done, and will never forget. This does not happen only in one case – if we have confessed our sins. And their Lord erases from memory – forgive and love comforting us. Then we shall be saved.
Otherwise, if you sin and don’t confess, God will not forget our sins, they will not disappear from the soul, and in that light we will remember them much better than here.
Translation Yelizaveta Terentyeva for the portal “Orthodoxy and the world”