About the paradoxes of gratitude and “contradictions” in the words of Christ – reflects Archbishop Jonah of Obukhov. Today from the author of “Pravmir” birthday. Many years!
Archbishop Jonah (Cherepanov). Photo: Sergey Ryzhkov
How to be God’s chosen
The Lord in the gospel often speaks of the fact that the Samaritans were much more receptive to the words of Christ, than God’s chosen people — the Jews. So, after the Samaritan woman met Jesus believed in Him as the Messiah, was later martyred for Christ and the Orthodox Church still honors her as a Martyr Photinia-samaryanin. Also we all know the parable of the good Samaritan. And even one of the ten lepers who came back and gave praise to the Lord for healing from the terrible disease, too, was a Samaritan.
I think this is a lesson for us all. Because the Jews were the people which the Lord kept for many centuries. They had at that time the fullness of the true faith, were looking for a Messiah, and that they are ultimately born into the world by our Lord Jesus Christ.
And despite all the goodness of God, the Jews were so hardened that did not recognize Christ as the true God.
We Christians are also God’s chosen people, the New Israel. Us is also the Lord chose. Remember, in the gospel — before His suffering on the cross Jesus said to his disciples: “ye have Not chosen Me, but I chose you” (Jn. 15, 16). The Lord called upon each of us, each of us has chosen, has led to Himself and keeps His grace. And we know according to the Scripture, the Holy fathers, and in our, albeit small experience of the Christian life, that only by the grace of God, with God’s help we can at least a little, but to be Christians: to pray, take communion, do good deeds.
And shake thanks
And somehow we, the New Israel, too, all the time forget about the most important thing that Christ always says in the gospel is about gratitude. Know the words of the Apostle: “rejoice Always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks…” (1 Thess. 5, 16-18). Does not say to give thanks only for the joy and consolation, but for everything! And sorrow and problems and trials, because it brings us closer to God.
The Lord is the best teacher. He carefully selects for each your key.
One man grief is not necessary: and so he lives in the Lord, praise the Lord and dwell under the cover of divine grace. But different, rooted in the sins, passions, and improper actions, in their retreat from God, is required and a shake-up that people realized how he was weak, vulnerable and weak, and turned to the giver of all good things to his Creator. Turned and turned from his careless life.
The test therefore, sorrow is very important to us — so ossified in sin, the blessings and joy the Lord gets our petrified heart, and He has to speak to us through the mouthpiece of sorrow.
To remember all
For this and need to thank our Lord. And not only Him, but also the middle — the person who is next to us. Lord the Scripture says that? “What did you do the middle, I did” (cf. 25, 40). Therefore, our gratitude should extend to people around us.
Do we always thank our parents, our teachers, friends and loved ones? All who cared for us, helped and participated in our lives. How to thank? — this does not mean that you have to go and hands to shake. Thanking prayer. Walking past the school, let us pray to myself “Lord, save and have mercy on everyone who teaches and learns!” Walking past the hospital — “Lord, save and have mercy on all who are here and treats, and is treated!”.
Meeting someone from relatives and friends, and even people, we are not always pleasant, always need to thanks God to pray for this man.
Then the Lord will pardon, comfort, to heal sicknesses, physical and spiritual.
Humanly speaking, everything is clear
And ability to thank for the test can become in the current difficult times.
Remember the Gospel passage about the ten lepers? The Lord heard their cry for healing and commanded them to go show themselves to the priests. What was supposed to be the faith of these people is that they don’t have to clarify, asking, “and when our scabs will disappear” “and why would we go if sick” — but then turned around and went where Jesus said to them. And along the way, as it is written in the gospel, cleansed.
And then starting to develop a seemingly paradoxical and obscure situation. One man returns. The gospel says that this is a Samaritan. The other nine, being Orthodox Jews, came, first, as commanded by Christ, who said to go to the priests, and secondly, seeing that was cleansed, he continued on his way to bring in the temple praise God for your healing and receive permission from the priests to return to society. The Samaritan had no place to go. He returned praising God and fell at the feet of Christ, “praise Him vasda” (LK. 17, 16).
At this point, the Lord utters this strange, like, words: “were there Not ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Why only one returned to give glory to God?” (see LK. 17, 17-18).
But because Christ knew that the other nine did just exactly as He told them: go and show themselves to the priests. They do It not broke — do not run away in different directions to celebrate, but continued on his way according to the word of Christ. That is, in human terms it was absolutely clear why only the Samaritan returned.
The paradoxes of our faith
I think in this passage the Lord reiterates that our faith is inherently paradoxical that it is not embedded in some common framework.
This was, in fact, tells the whole story of Christianity. We partake of the Body and blood of Christ. From a human point of view, it is absurd and preposterous, and the first Christians, as we know, the posse was just accused of cannibalism.
The willingness to martyrdom, too, looked strange. Until now it completely departs from the traditional views. Even if we turn to a relatively recent period of history, the martyrs, our ancestors, who a hundred years ago, professed their faith, their actions often seemed absurd and paradoxical.
From a human point of view, it is easier? — Live according to the laws of the Soviet state, did not go to the temple and be whole and healthy.
If you really have the need to attend Church, you can go to the Renovationist Church. As you know, in the 20-ies of the last century the Soviet government, trying to destroy Christianity, organized the so-called Renovationist Church, which has fully supported the party line, actively fought with the Orthodox priest: “thanks” to the denunciations of the Renovationists, many priests were persecuted, believers were expelled from temples, and churches given to the Renovationists.
It would seem, is exactly the same service, the same service of the Liturgy, the priest in vestments. “Renovationists” even recognized the Patriarchate of Constantinople, who agreed with the deposition of the Holy Patriarch Tikhon. But for some reason people did not go there. Chose martyrdom, persecution, but followed Christ.
Because faith in Christ is faith in the supernatural. This faith is above human understanding.
Will Of Christ!
In the Gospels Christ always emphasizes that if we love Him, we must as soon as learned about It as soon as believed as soon as received from Him gracious help, to run to Him and, like the Samaritan, to fall down at His feet, “praise Him vasda”.
If we try always to be near to Christ in His one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, we belong to Christ, let us be grateful to the Samaritan, whom Jesus had forgiven and said, “thy Faith saved thee” (LK. 17, 19).