Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Jesus and His disciples entered into a ship, and while our Lord slept... a great storm arose.  "And His disciples came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.  And He said unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?  Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.  But the men marveled, saying, what manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!"  What manner of man indeed!  Surely no ordinary man, no matter how great and exalted a teacher or prophet He may have been.   He is, in fact, the Godman--perfect God and perfect man--the incarnate Son of God, second Person of the Holy Trinity, Who created in the beginning all things visible and invisible.

And indeed--the very same Lord Jesus Christ Who calmed the winds and the sea can surely calm the turmoil and uprisings of the passions within our souls.  Indeed, our life in this fallen world of ours is corrupt and unnatural, and getting worse all the time as we head at a feverish pace toward the revelation of the Antichrist in these final days.  So it is only to be expected that so many nowadays should suffer the ravages of stress, anxiety and depression.  Unfortunately, far too many seek relief through drugs (both legal and illegal) and other forms of self-medication.  Others look to secular self-help programs for relief, or attempt to fill the empty God-sized hole in their hearts with work, noise and other non-stop frenetic worldly activities.

But as St. Augustine affirmed, "Our hearts are ever restless till they find their rest in Thee."  God alone is the source of true peace, happiness and the healing of our souls and bodies and above all--our salvation from sin, death and the Devil.  In other words, we are called to become "partakers of the Divine Nature"--not just in the future, but even now--in this earthly life.

As for the rich man in today's parable--it seems he gave no thought at all to the salvation of his immortal soul.  Instead, he sought only to enjoy to the fullest the vain and fleeting pleasures of life in this world, while the beggar Lazarus endured unto the end the trials and tribulations of poverty and affliction.  And so in the end he was deemed worthy of resting in Abraham's bosom--while the rich man died and descended into a hell of his own making.  In neither case was it a matter of punishment or reward, but rather the natural consequence of how one chooses to use that precious gift of life God has bestowed upon us all.

St. Dimitrius (whom we commemorate today) regarded the glory and honor of this earthly life to be but dung, and so he trampled underfoot every worldly desire--choosing instead to endure for Christ's sake the pain and suffering of martyrdom.  By this means he was found worthy to receive in abundance the grace of God, and the crown of victory in His eternal Kingdom. 

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