Thursday, October 14, 2010

Met. Ephrem's Sermon for October 10, 2010

The Arabic original can be found here.

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen.

You heard this passage from the Gospel according the Evangelist Luke talk about the event of this widowed woman who lost her only son. The Evangelist Luke paints a picture of this event and presents it to us. From one side, there is the procession we are accustomed to, a funeral procession or the procession of death and from another side the Lord Jesus comes, naturally, by divine providence. He comes from another side with his disciples and a large group who make up the procession of life. So we see in this scene something real from our own life about life and death. At the same time, this event in the Gospel and every event in our life is permitted by the Lord to give us a teaching for our life. What is this teaching? What should we take away from this story?

Man is mortal, either in his body or in his spirit. Each one of us very often passes through sorrows and hardships and everyone asks: why does the Lord permit these hardships? This is because very often we are dead, even if our bodies are still moving! Life comes, for us Christians, from Christ because we first of all believe that He is God who became incarnate and took a body like us in order to save us. From the beginning, from the moment of creating man until today, God breathes into the Church and He gives this breath of life to weak and mortal man! He is mortal because of his sins and he is mortal because of the weakness of his nature.

How does this life come? Most of the time, man lives on this earth superficially, holding on to outward forms. Naturally, he chases after his livelihood. But very rarely does he truly live. If the person is a faithful Christian, he asks Christ to touch him with His Spirit so that he will live! So that he will come back to life! For this reason, the Church laid out prayers and sacraments so that from time to time we may receive this breath of life. Where does life come from? Does it only come from the blood which flows in our veins, or does it come from the Lord? When man takes refuge in the Lord, and He touches him like He touched the casket he revives and receives new life!

This is the teaching! And even more than that! How, through the Holy Spirit, how does new life come to us when we encounter Christ? This passage from the Gospel teaches us that the Lord Jesus stands before the widow’s son and because of His mercy to the widow, He gives him life and he rises and begins to speak. The Lord gives us life. He created us and came into this world and was crucified for our sake and He died and rose from the dead in order to give us His life and so that His life will permeate us, His tenderness, His mercy. And so we must resemble Him. The Christian who is without love, without tenderness, without feeling, mercy, is not only not a Christian, he is simply not a human in the full sense of the word. So we ask the Lord to touch us so that we will not be dead in this world, but rather be alive through the grace of His love and His Holy Spirit, amen.


Apophatically Speaking said...

Samn! Thank you for translating this and other docs.

You mentioned elsewhere in a combox your conviction that for the health of the AOC here, communication and access to the best of Levantine Christianity is a must. I agree. You also mentioned the existence of translation projects and funds needed for this. Let me know the details of what you have in mind. Send me private email.

Samn! said...

Hi Apo, remind me of your email?

Apophatically Speaking said...

You can reach me at