пятница, 5 августа 2011 г.

...we should notice someone else's need. Miracles of Christ. Fr. Anthony.

 Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
                     Christ's miracles
                       20 July 1980

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

We constantly read about Christ's miracles in the Holy Gospels, and we
ask  ourselves,  "why  is  it  that such things were possible in those
days,  and  yet  we see so few miracles in our own day?" I think there
are three possible answers.

The first is that we do not see the miracles that surround us, we take
everything for granted, as completely natural. We receive all the good
things  from  the  hand  of  God as though they were normal, and we no
longer  see  that life is a wonderful, joyful miracle, that God wanted
to  create  us, that He called us from non-being into being, laid open
before  us  the whole miracle of existence. Nor did He confine Himself
to  this.  He  called  us to be His friends for ever, everlastingly to
live the eternal, divine life. He revealed Himself to us; we know that
He is, we know Him in Christ as the God whose love did not falter even
in  the  face  of  His own death which was to save those He loves. And
what  about  those  miracles  that  are  even less obvious to us, like
health,  like  peace,  like  friendship,  like love? They are all pure
miracles  —  you  cannot buy them, you cannot force anyone to give you
his heart; and yet all around us there are so many hearts open to each
other,  so  much  friendship, so much love. And our physical existence
which we consider so natural — is not that a miracle?

That  is the first point that I wanted to make: that the whole of life
is  a  miracle.  I know, of course, that there is much, very much pain
and  horror  in  it,  but at the same time such a quiet yet unwavering
light  shines  in the darkness: if only we could believe in the light,
and so become children of light, as Christ says, the bearers of light?

There  are  two more remarks I should like to make. Today we read that
the people were in need, that the apostles noticed this need and spoke
to  the  Lord about it. And the Lord said: "It is up to you to relieve
this  need,  to  feed these hungry people". "How?" they said, "we have
only  two fishes and five loaves, can that possibly be enough for such
a  crowd?"  And  Christ blessed those fish and those loaves and it was
enough for the crowd.

So  what  is  expected  of  us  in  order  that God can freely, by His
sovereign  power,  perform  heavenly miracles on earth? First, that we
should  notice  someone else's need. So often we pass by it and do not
open  the  door  to  God to allow Him to enter and do that which it is
impossible  for  us  to  do.  Let us open our eyes in order to see the
needs  of  the  people around us — material, psychological, spiritual;
the loneliness and longing and countless other needs.

And  another  thing  that  the Lord urges upon His disciples is, "give
everything  that you have, and we shall be able to feed them all." The
disciples did not leave aside some fish and some bread for themselves,
they  gave  it  all to the Lord. And because they gave everything, the
Kingdom  of  God,  the  kingdom of love, the kingdom where God can act
freely  and untrammelled, was established and all were satisfied. This
call  is  addressed to us also: when we see want, let us give all, and
all will be well.

Now  a final remark: when the paralytic about whom we read a few weeks
ago was brought to Christ He saw the people's faith and cured the sick
man.  We  can  supply the faith that is lacking in those around us, we
can  carry  them  on  our  faith  as  on a stretcher. But faith is not
enough; in the case of the paralytic there was not only the faith that
the  Lord  could heal him, but there was caring love for the sick man.
If  only  there were such love amongst us the beginning of the Kingdom
of  God  would  already be established in our midst, and God could act

Let  us consider this, for every one of God's miracles was introduced,
and  so  to speak conditioned, by the participation of man. It depends
on  us  that  the  Kingdom  which  we  pray  and  long  for  should be
established  on  earth,  that  Kingdom which we are called on to build
together with God and in His name. Amen.

* All texts are copyright:   Estate of Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
           Metropolitan Anthony of  Sourozh Library

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