Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Met. Georges on Angels and the Angelic Life

The Arabic original can be found here.

The sermon of His Eminence Met. Georges (Khodr) on the Feast of the Archangel Michael at the Monastery of the Archangel Michael, Biq'ata, November 8, 2010

Beloved, I will take as my starting point the name of the saint whom we celebrate today, Michael, which means: who is like God. If we remember Michael, we remember his service to God! Among the saints, there is no one who is not His servant. The primary service of the angels is to give praise to the Lord. They soar around the heavenly throne and recall God. This is the most important work that can be undertaken. As a consequence, they remind us humans that our most important posture before God is to give Him praise! The second thing is that they are spirits sent to serve us. That is, since they love God and glorify him above in the heavens, they descend from that praise to serve us. The angels are our servants, we are not their servants. And Michael is one of these servants. However, if we serve a messenger from God who returns us to God, the important thing is that he returns us to God with repentance. There is no other return. In reality, we have no existence except when we follow God and when we continue to follow Him. This is everything. We do not exist through anything else. We were created for divine love and to spread this love among us. We see that you came for this day-- Is it a crowd around Michael? Or a crowd around the One to whom Michael gives praise?

The final thing is that the work of the brotherhood established here is angelic in the sense that it was born for praise! You hear in this country and in this region "You Orthodox's monks, do they do anything?" No one believes that giving praise is something. It is the most important thing. If you make cars and airplanes or if you talk about politics, this is more important than giving praise?! Indeed, Orthodox monks do not do anything other than give praise. They soar or they try to soar like the angels. If you come across in this diocese or elsewhere people who love God in this way, the way of giving praise, what do we say to them? "Come, work in government as ministers and deputies because this is how you will be useful to mankind! Because when you pray, you are not useful to mankind." This is tremendously corrupt thinking, that speaking with God is secondary work because what is important is that we make cars and planes and so on.... This brotherhood is established here in order to remember us who are bogged down in the works of the world, to remember that this world which God created in order to extract praise from it is not what is important. We want to live and to raise our children, but the most important thing is the love of God. We will try, we who live in the world-- we will try because it is hard-- we will try to give thanks to God because He gave us those who undertake the greatest endeavor, which is to be submerged in God! Whether you understood this or you understood little, you feel on this day that your glorifying the Lord in this place is what you primarily love to do.

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