My beloved spiritual children in Crist God,
Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.
WHO IS A ‘SERVANT" OF GOD?
"His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and
faithful servant, you were faithful over a few
things, I will make you ruler over many things.
ENTER INTO THE JOY OF YOUR LORD."
Our Most-Infinite and All-Compassionate Lord Jesus Christ demonstrate and illustrate the use of gifts given by Our Creator and All-Ruling God. A talent was a substantial gift of money and came to mean a special gift to someone, ‘a servant’, to him to invest. The Lord came after a time hoping that his servant would have had it invested and that he would have had multiplied his investment. What is clear here is that the servant did not understand that he was held accountable for the talent that he was entrusted by his Master. The "wicked and lazy servant" could not evade responsibility for ignoring the talent given him. We are all servants or stewards of every gift or talent of God and we are expected to use these gifts not only for ourselves but for the good of our fellow man. We are expected by Our Master and Lord, to be gracious, merciful, kind, and compassionate to our brethren in the world, and to know, that when we do not share this love or God’s gifts with others, we will be held accountable to God. It proves, once again, how very selfish people we are, and that we are glutens of prosperity. However, nothing that we possess is ours but given to us by Our Merciful Lord.
Our Loving God reminds us: "For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has WILL BE TAKEN AWAY" (Matthew 25:29). Jesus Christ, Our Savior, identifies Himself with the poor and the outcasts and expects all who follow Him to do the same.
Saint Theophylact says, "Good" we understand here to mean "loving all mankind" and "without spite", he who imparts his own goodness to his fellowmen (neighbors). Those who have shown themselves to be faithful over a few things are made rulers over many things. But even if we are deemed worthy of gifts in this life, that is nothing in comparison to the good things that are to come. "The joy of the Lord" IS THE UNENDING GLADNESS WHICH GOD HAS, REJOICING IN His work, as David says (Psalm 103:31). With such a joy do the Saints also rejoice in their works, just as the sinners grieve over their own deeds and regret them. The Saints have the Lord AS THEIR WEALTH AND REJOICE IN Him. See that he who received the five talents and he who received two were deemed worthy of the same good things. Though a man may have received a few things, if he is A GOOD SERVANT OF STEWARD even of his small gift, he WILL ENJOY THE SAME HONOR AS HE WHO WAS DEEMED OF WORTHY OF AND ACCOMPLISHED, GREAT THINGS. Each one, according to what he has received, is seen to be perfect to the degree that he accomplishes what he has been given to do… To him who has the greater diligence, more grace will be given and in abundance. But from him who is not diligent, even the gift which he thinks he has will be taken away. For he who is NOT DILIGENT and DOES NOT WORK and TRADE with what he has received, DOES NOT HAE THE GIFT, but only appears to have it. For HE HAS BLOTTED IT OUT BY HIS NEGLECT.
The genuine Christian believer is ‘a willing servant’ or ‘slave’ (δούλος Κυρίου) of God. I was given to understand some time ago, that the chain holding our baptismal cross around our neck, is a ‘symbol’ of our willing slavery to Christ. Christianity, as everyone knows, condemns slavery, teaching that God is the Father of all people. Saint Paul reminds us: "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, A WORKER WHO DOES NOT NEED TO BE ASHAMED, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).
Psalm 27  is the hymn of the Newly Baptized in the Orthodox Church, chanted before the reading of the Epistle, Romans 6:3-11, at the Mystery of Baptism. It is also chanted on the Eve of Theophany, the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Psalm itself is a confirmation of faith in the midst of adversity. Just as our Lord’s temptations followed His Baptism, so we who are joined to Christ in Holy Baptism are readied for the battle of UNSEEN WARFARE AHEAD.
THE LORD is my Light and
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp
My heart shall NOT fear;
Though war may rise against
In this, I WILL BE CONFIDENT…"
The true servant of God is always obedient, humble, truthful, kind, loving, and emulates His Master’s generosity and love as much as humanly possible. He understands when one submits to the Divine Authority of God and that he truly surrenders to Him in everything. Saint Paul says, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21). Our open confession of faith for Christ goes beyond the words of our mouths, to the way we live and the way we die: the totality of what we are and do. After all, we seek the Kingdom of God and eternal life. Just like the Angels of God unceasingly praise and serve Him throughout eternity, we too will do the same. There is no human way to explain the abundant joy and love which we will encounter in Paradise in this infinite spiritual world and in His presence.
We all have the potential to be ‘good servants’ because of what God has taught us. Most significant, however, is that Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us by His Divine example, how to be willing, not only to share our spiritual and material wealth with our brethren but to sacrifice Himself on the Cross to save mankind. Saint Paul writes: "Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good" (Romans 12:9). The holy Apostle says, "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law" ( Romans 13:8). There are those who, like Cain, dismiss that we are brother’s keeper and responsible for his welfare. However, we are taught by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you love one another. By this, all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34).
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5).
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostom
+ + +
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry)
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George