My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
Shall the Son of Man Find Faith
on the Earth When He Comes?
We hear the Lord speak elsewhere: "When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find the Faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8). The way that this question is possessed in Greek, a negative answer is implied. Saint Kyril comments: "He tells us then that ‘the love of the multitude shall grow cold’ (Matthew 24:12), and that ‘in latter times some SHALL APOSTASIZE FROM THE Faith, giving heed to DECEIVING SPIRITS AND TEACHINGS OF DEMONS, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having been branded as to their own conscience [1 Timothy 4:1-2).
Saint Cyprian of Carthage states: "If there be amazon us the fear of God if the maintenance of the Faith prevails if we keep the precepts of Christ, if we guard the incorrupt and inviolate sanctity of His spouse (the Church), if the words of the Lord abide in our thoughts and hearts when He says, "Thinkest thou, when the Son of Man cometh, shall He find the faith on the earth?;" then because we are God's faithful soldiers, who war for the Faith and sincere religion of God, let us keep the camp entrusted to us by God with faithful valor. Nor ought custom, which had crept in among some, prevent the Truth from prevailing and conquering; for custom without truth is the antiquity of error. Let not faith and Truth be betrayed when that which is done outside against the Church is defended within, indeed, IN THE VERY CHURCH HERSELF."
Saint Theophylactos notes here about the Antichrist, saying that "by using the form of a question, He shows how then He shall find few faithful. For the son of lawlessness shall gain the mastery to such a degree then, 'SO AS TO LEAD ASTRAY, IF POSSIBLE, EVEN THE ELECT" (Matthew 24:24). "…FEW WILL KEEP FAITH TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD OTHERS… NOW FAITH IS THE SOLID BASE AND FOUNDATION OF PRAYER. The Lord mentions faith while He is teaching about prayer, showing in a hidden manner THAT FEW WILL PRAY THEN SINCE FEW SHALL BE FOUND THEN WHO HAVE FAITH… WITH HIS COMING, HOWEVER, HE SHALL PUT AN END TO FAITHLESSNESS, FOR, WILLINGLY OR NOT, 'EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS FOR ITSELF THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER."
Indeed, there is a great reward for those who welcome the perfect, that is, RECEIVING THOSE WHO ARE OF CHRIST. Saint Gregory Palamas says, "this means not just be entertaining them and making them comfortable, but BY OBEYING THEM. On this subject, Christ says elsewhere to His Disciples, "The one who heareth you heareth Me, and the one who rejecteth you rejecteth Me, and the one who rejecteth the truth REJECTETH THE One Who sent Me forth" (Luke 10:16). But even a person who offers hospitality and refreshments to God's servants will receive a great reward IF HE DOES IT FOR GOD'S SAKE. For, again, the Lord says, "The one who receiveth a Prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a Prophet's reward, and the one who receiveth a righteous man in the name shall receive a righteous man's reward (Matthew 10:41). You may ask, 'How does such a one receive the reward of a Prophet or a righteous man?' Hear the holy Apostle: "But in accordance with EQUALITY IN THE PRESENT TIME: YOUR ABUNDANCE FOR THEIR WANT, THAT THEIR ABUNDANCE ALSO MIGHT BE FOR YOUR WANT, SO THAT THERE MIGHT COME TO BE AN EQUALITY" (2 Corinthians 9:14). Indeed, one will reap great benefits for giving EVEN A LITTLE. For Our Savior says, "WHOSOEVER SHALL GIVE TO ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES ONLY A CUP OF COLD WATER TO DRINK IN THE NAME OF A DISCIPLE, VERILY I SAY TO YOU, IN NO WISE SHALL HE LOSE HIS REWARD" (Matthew 10:42).
But let us return to the words of the Apostle. Saint John Chrysostomos explains the meaning of this "EQUALITY" in "THE PRESENT TIME," asking, 'How is there equality? You and they giving in return the abundance of each, and fill up what the other lacks. And what kind of equality is this, giving spiritual in return for carnal? For it is eminently more on that side. Why does he call it equality? Either in respect of each abounding and wanting or he says it in regard to his present life only. Now he is saying these things both to restrain the high thoughts of the wealthy and to show that after our departure from here the spiritual ones possess A SUPERIOR ADVANTAGE. For here on the one hand we all enjoy equality, but there much distinction and a great preeminence when the righteous shine brighter than the sun."
Saint Paul urges us, saying, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well-pleasing to God, your rational worship. And cease being fashioned according to this age, but be transfigured by the renewing of your mind, in order for you to put to the test what is the good and well-pleasing and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:1-2). Saint John Chrysostomos explains: "SINCE IT WAS LIKELY THAT, BEING PEOPLE, WE WOULD BE SINNING EVERY DAY, HE CONSOLES HIS HEARER, SAYING, "BE RENEWING THYSELF DAY BY DAY." This is what we do with houses, we keep on REPAIRING THEM AS THEY AGE, AND SO TOD THIS TO THYSELF… IN ORDER FOR YOU TO PUT TO THE TEST WHAT IS THE GOOD…" What does he mean by this? Be renewed to learn what is more expedient for you and what is the will of God…For, also, there, things are one. For God wills what things are expedient for us, and what God wills, that is also expedient for us."
Saint Gregory ends by saying, 'Let us, as the Saints, present our bodies and souls, as a pleasing offering to God on these days of celebration, that by the prayers of the Saints we may come to share in that endless festival and joy. May we all attain to this, by the grace and love for mankind of our Lord Jesus Christ." Amen. [Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church]
"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