My beloved brothers and sisters in Our Risen Lord, God, and Savior JESUS CHRIST,



"But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know
what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in
secret; and your Father Who sees in secret, will Himself reward
you openly" (Matthew 6:4).

"Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves
another has fulfilled the law. For the Commandments, ‘You shall not
commit adultery, ‘You shall not murder, ‘You shall not steal, ‘You
shall not bear false witness, ‘You shall not covet, and if there is any
other Commandment, are ALL SUMMED UP IN THIS SAYING,

The Holy Fathers attached utmost importance to brotherly love. Abba (Father) John the Dwarf said: "It is not possible to build a house from the top down; one must build it from the foundations to the top." ‘What does this saying mean?’ his disciples asked him. The Elder replied: ‘The foundation IS YOUR NEIGHBOR, whom you must win over to Christ BY YOUR LOVE (AGAPE)–and this must be done first; for on him depend all the Commandments of Christ."

As Saint Anthony put it: "Life and death depend on our neighbor: for if we win over our brother, we win over God, but if we offend our brother, we sin against Christ." Elder Aimilianos wrote for his nuns: "The touchstone of authenticity for the sisters shall be the love they bear towards the others, which is what the Lord requires above all else. The heart of each shall be open, full of simplicity, sincerity and affection, admitting all the others, with love that is deep, strong, manly, and spiritual." Saint Efthymios taught: "If your brother calls you while you are occupied with your manual work, make haste to see what he wants and work with him, leaving aside your own work." For example, among the Desert Holy Fathers

"there was a certain solitary who had another solitary as his disciple. The latter lived in a cell ten miles away from him. One day, his thoughts said to him: ‘Summon the brother to come here and receive his bread.’ But then he reflected: ‘Am I going to make my brother trek ten miles for the sake of bread? No, I will take the bread to him myself.’ So he took the bread and set off to visit his disciple.
While on his way…an Angel appeared before him…saying: "The very steps that you take for the sake of the Lord are counted and are reckoned worthy of great reward in the sight of God." Then, giving thanks to God for the words of the Angel, the ascetic went on his way, rejoicing. He arrived at the brother’s cell, bearing the loaves of bread, and recounted to him the love for mankind that God had shown to him. After giving him the bread, he returned to his own cell.
On the following day, he again took some loaves of bread and went to visit another monk. It so happened that the latter was coming towards him at the same time for the same purpose, and they met each other on the way. The one who was going said to the one who was coming: ‘I had a treasure, and you sought to robe me of it?’ The other monk replied to him: ‘Does the narrow gate have room only for you?’ Allow me to enter it together with you.’ And at once, as they were speaking, an Angel of the Lord appeared to them and said: "This ‘quarrel’ of yours has ascended to God as an odor of sweet savor."

Helping our fellow man is a labor of true agape. Agape for others is not to be understood as an obligation but as a divine act. Our love for our neighbor is love for Our Lord and God Jesus Christ. One of our Saints was riding his horse to the city center and as he came near it he witnessed people running in different directions and frightened and in a panic. He then spotted a man in rags and immediately realized that he was not only a beggar but a leper. When he approached him, he dismounted from his horse and walked over to him, and embraced him lovingly. O, the Wonder! immediately the poor leper transformed into our Lord Christ Himself. Our love for those who need our love and compassion ought to be love without any reservations or conditions to be truly genuine love.

In our contemporary world, there are countless good Christians and good people who work tirelessly to help others without any recompense and always secretly. They form a chain of goodwill souls that seek always to bring hope, love, and kindness to those who are suffering, to the poor, to the sick, to the refused, the neglected, or rejected in the world. Our All-Loving God has indeed numerous devout and faithful workers and servants, who are blessed and are able to make a real difference in our cosmos. Humanity is never abandoned by our Creator and God Who gave us His Only-begotten Son to save all of mankind. Everyone has a God-given talent to use for the glory of God and for the good of others.

Goodness and Holiness can never be overtaken by hatred and evil. Our Lord and Savior will never allow that to ever happen. There is an infinite power to goodness and love. No one should ever underestimate the power of love. God is AGAPE, LOVE. Where there is love, God is present. "Therefore be merciful as your Father also is merciful" (Luke 6:36). Then He said: "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the sons of the Most High; for He is kind into the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." Then He adds another compelling reason to keep this commandment: if you love those who love you, you are like the sinners and the Gentiles; but if you love those who do evil to you, YOU ARE LIKE GOD, Who is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil." Which do you desire, to be like sinners, or to be like God? Do you see the Divine teaching?

An Orthodox Christian seeks opportunities to serve with sincerity and affection and to help the sorrowful, those in pain, and the forgotten. There is no greater reward than to come to the aid of another human being, another precious soul. We are on this earth for only a brief time and it is the commandment of Our Lord, God, and Savior to "do unto others as we would have them do unto us" (Luke 6:31). The attitude "That’s your problem, not mine," should never be said by a Christian.

"Glory Be To GOD
All Things!"
-Saint John Chrysostomos
+ + +

With sincere agape In His Divine and Most Glorious Resurrection,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: