Saturday, July 1, 2017

Met Ephrem (Kyriakos) on How to Bear Witness to Christ

Arabic original here.

The Perfection of Bearing Witness to Christ is in Martyrdom for His Sake

How do we bear witness to Christ before a hostile world? It happens by way of a calm attitude that accepts such hostility with meekness and love for those who fight against us. What is the motivation for such an attitude? It is our faith that Christ died and defeated death by His resurrection.

There is, among us, a person consumed by vain delusion and another person who longs for eternal life. The comforting good news remains that Christ is risen from the dead and defeated sin, evil, and death. Therefore He is able to raise us up with Him and grant us eternal life anew, that life that we lost in the Fall. And so it is for us to love and so live. Death is no longer before us, it is now behind us!

Today holiness comes by way of repentance, by way of humility and brokenness. Christ Himself became poor for our sake.

In this way we bear witness to true joy, the joy of the resurrection, the joy that springs forth from a heart broken before God and before others.

Have we thus shown service to others freely and with nothing in exchange? Our struggle lasts until death without our waiting for any final triumph. This is because the kingdom is in Christ who will come again outside of time and history, raising us up for good and bearing the fruits of our struggle for His sake. Do you see how we accept upon ourselves such a suffering person and joy at the same time?! This remains our witness before those who are despairing, despondent, broken and weeping. We bear witness through our holiness, through our joy, not through worldly authority and establishing magnificent institutions. The man standing before death, before losing love in this world, how can he not long for life, for love, for true joy?!

Only a praying person can bear witness to the incarnate Word, the Word who became a silent face in whom there is true worship, the presence that is attentive to others, in which there is live, hope and beauty.

The Jesus Prayer is nothing other than an internal cry, a hymn of love by which our heart is enlightened and enlightens others: the witness that God is love challenges others and angers no one. This is love of enemies. The witness is love above everything and before everything, a communion of reunion with others, though which one knows in his live how to speak with one who is suffering, how to console him with the living water that wells up from within him.

Metropolitan of Tripoli, al-Koura and their Dependencies

No comments: