Sunday, July 1, 2018

Met Georges Khodr: We Are One

Arabic original here.

We Are One

It is striking about the Church that it is the only place where unbelievers gather out of desire for love, whether men or women, poor or rich, healthy or disabled, simple or great in understanding. This is because the Lord who was slaughtered for the sake of all lifts them up to the same level, the level of His love, as though He says to the downtrodden wife (and sometimes too the downtrodden husband), "If your husband only sees in you pleasure or a servant for his children and you are of no worth to him, you are My companion because from your rank came Mary, My mother and the mother of the whole world, and so too came the myrrh-bearing women, and from among your companions some have attained great holiness.

The Savior says to the poor man, "I do not make you the equal of the rich man, for I make you equal to Myself. If you have loved, have had patience, and have become a companion to the poor man of Nazareth, then no one surpasses you in glory, because you have ascended the throne of humility and there is no other throne."

The blessed Lord says to the disabled person, "You are healthy in what is deep down and capable of greatness and heart in courage and boldness. If your hands or legs are withered, there is no defect in your mind, because hatred is the only disability and the healthy might be proud, so they are the ones who immobile."

The Lord calls the simple to Himself, saying, "'Everything is heart' and your domain in Christianity is the purity, giving and understanding that God has entrusted to the heart. Very often, the lively mind is against the pure heart. The giving that Christianity knows is an overflowing of love, so if this overflowing is impossible for someone, he is nothing."

All of them head together to the holy chalice in humility. The beautiful woman knows in the presence of Jesus that her beauty is dust until she receives the Eucharist. The rich man tastes that he is poor and in need of his Lord's mercy, that he is the equal of the needy or the least of them, lest the body of Christ judge him. The healthy person sees that he is chastened, lest abundant health bring upon him the calamity of haughtiness. The intellectual is convinced that unless he places his knowledge at the feet of the Crucified, knowledge is rigid.

But after the Divine Liturgy, danger seizes us. The beautiful women leave strutting. The rich leave in splendor or feeling a heightened sense of security. The intellectuals scatter their clever words here and there, bragging and babbling. At that point, the effect of receiving is voided within us, like the dog returning to its own vomit, as the Bible says (cf. 2 Peter 2:22).

In the world where Christians live, nonsense is rampant and blindness widespread, since the healthy person does not know that he is no more glorious than the disabled person, the man does not know that he isn't anything just because he is male and that he only becomes something in Christ's headship over him, and the educated do not sense that a thimbleful of love is more valuable than a bushel of learning. If we have fallen into these abysses, then the Divine Liturgy has transformed into Byzantine chants without any content, as though Christ had not died to gather us to Himself and to unite us with each other.

The world is once more becoming a theater for demons in a Christian society. We have not brought the Church into the world in order to make it the Church and to prepare the kingdom of God in this world. The temple is not the final waystation. It is the point of departure into the world.

Why are we not a divine community within it? Why are we content to be a sect with no holy spirit in it? Love between different groups is the spirit of the enlightening elite that we call Christians.

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