My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.
"Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging
the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel–
rather let it be the HIDDEN PERSON OF THE HEART
WITH THE INCCORUPTIBLE BEAUTY OF A GENTLE
AND QUIET SPIRIT, WHICH IS VERY PRECIOUS IN
THE SPIRIT OF GOD" (1 Peter 3:3-4).
As we all know there are different kinds of beauty, the inner, the spiritual beauty, and the outward beauty, the physical beauty when it pertains to humans. The holy Apostle explains further, "For this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands." The dignity and modesty of a woman–and her good conduct–have the power to call her husband to faith and devotion. Nor are husbands to take advantage of this superior conduct on the part of their wives, but are to reciprocate, indeed to give honor. Contrary to the inheritance customs of the time, husband and wife are "HEIRS TOGETHER OF THE GRACE OF LIFE" (v. 7). It is made clear by the holy Apostle that "Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being HEIRS TOGETHER OF THE GRACE OF LIFE, that your prayers may not be hindered." Failure to live "with understanding" with one’s spouse even affects ONE’S RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
The model is "Christ and the Church" (Ephesians 5:32) which is applied to marriage. The holy Apostle makes it very clear to the husbands to love their wives: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for her… So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he WHO LOVES HIS WIFE LOVES HIMSELF. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the Church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones…Nevertheless, let EACH ONE OF YOU IN PARTICULAR SO LOVE HIS OWN WIFE AS HIMSELF, AND LET THE WIFE SEE THAT SHE RESPECTS HER HUSBAND" (Ephesians 5:25-33).
The Almighty God and Creator of all things, "MADE EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IN ITS TIME, AND HE INDEED PUT ETERNITY IN THEIR HEARTS…" (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The Eternal Logos/Word–the "beginning" and the "end" (v.11)-came into "time" and REDEEMED all things. He turned out weeping into joy, our mourning into dancing, our hatred into love, and our time into "eternity."
Our Lord and Savior when confronting the Pharisees He exposes their hypocrisy and fake beauty: "For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed APPEAR BEAUTIFUL OUTWARDLY, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness" (St. Matthew 23:27).
Indeed created beauty and gave it to man to enjoy it and as he matured spiritually to find it within himself. God created the first human, Adam beautiful, not only physically, but from within, his soul. Whether we gaze at the heavenly bodies, the stars, the moon, the planets and specifically our own planted earth, what we view is awesome beauty. God’s beauty is embedded in men’s heart, in his relationship with his Creator, in love, in his faith in God, in holiness, in purity, in obedience to His Redeemer Christ, in his kindness and compassion of his fellow man, in being just, in righteousness, in his willingness to forgive, in virtue, in the birth of his child, in the woman that he marries, and in his communion with the Almighty God.
God’s beauty all around us and prayerfully within each and every one of us. There is of course ugliness as well. The ugliness that is present, comes from the evil one and sadly also by man. What is ugly is one’s lack of faith, our hatred of God and of one another, our lack of respect for our planet, our lack of compassion for the suffering men, women, and children, our lack of appreciation of the Lord’s abundant blessings, the constant killing of one another through violence and wars, the abuse and exploitation of people, the cruelty of animals and sea creatures, and many and various sins committed against God and one another, human bondage and slavery, and finally the unwillingness to love our Master and God unconditionally.
By the grace of God, however, God’s beauty is much greater than Satan’s and man’s ugliness. Ugliness in time will be annihilated but God’s beauty will prevail. and eternal beauty will once again be restored fully. Take time to thank our Creator for His beautiful creation and to enjoy it. Joy comes out of beauty, laughter is generated from beauty, love is strengthened by beauty, and man’s soul is gratified by the beauty of God.
Stay beautiful both inside and out. Everyone has the potential and talent which our Lord has given him/her to create beauty. Be a creator of beauty instead of adding more ugliness in God’s beautiful world. Discover the Lord’s beauty in your soul and offer Him thanksgiving and praise. And "just as he chose us in Him that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love… to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:4-6).
As long as Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior and we, are one, we are and will continue to be BEAUTIFUL.
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George