Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Met Antonios (el-Souri): The Judgment

 Arabic original here.

The Judgment

"... on the day when God will judge the secret thoughts of all." (Romans 2:16)

The judgment is not according to appearances, but according to the hidden things in the hearts of humankind. People live for people, generally speaking, forgetting that their life is from God and not from a creature. People bow down to things that are not gods, to flesh and blood, because they seek power and authority and when they find it with other people, they enslave themselves to them. Miserable is he who does not know that God will "judge the secret thoughts of all."

People, in general, are judgmental. He who judges is himself judged in the same manner: "for the measure you give will be the measure you get back" (Luke 6:38). People do not know the secrets of hearts, but God know everything. He is the one who "tests minds and hearts" (Psalm 7:9).

How does God judge us and for what are we held accountable?

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven" (Luke 6:37). One who does not judgements on people, on their persons, but rather seeks excuses for them in their mistakes in order to learn himself and preserve himself, is not judged by God because he himself does not judge others. As for one who holds people's mistakes against them, however, on the basis of his own assessment of the truth apart from love, his truth is false. How can a person judge another when he does not know himself? How can he distinguish truth from falsehood when he has not yet been purified? The foundation for the capacity to judge is discernment and discernment is a gift from God to the pure. He whose heart has not been purified and who has not been cleansed of his passions cannot discern matters with the eye of God. "Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny" (1 Corinthians 2:15).

The foundation of spiritual work is striving to save the sinner, not to judge him. The Lord Jesus said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners" (Mark 2:17). One who does not see himself as sick and sinful does not need the Lord Jesus Christ, but is satisfied with himself. This is the one who judges people, the one who is satisfied with, in and of himself. He does not know to seek forgiveness and consequently he is not capable of forgiving.

He who has a law is judged according to the law because the law does not bring salvation, but rather brings condemnation because there does not exist any person capable of fulfilling everything that is in the law: "For 'no human being will be justified in his sight' by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20). As for one who is without a law, he has the universe as an earnest of the Creator's love and as proof of His works of surpassing goodness: "Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20).

In any case, the judgement is in the measure of the gift, so if those who are still under the law or those who are under the judgment of human conscience have no excuse, then how great will be the judgment of us Christians to whom everything has been revealed in Christ Jesus?

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Beloved, let us not delude ourselves or claim what does not belong to us, but rather be humble in prayer, fasting and spiritual struggle, for we are in the time of the Apostles' Fast, so let us judge ourselves so that God might justify us, He who knows everything about us more than we do and He is the Merciful who accepts the penitent in every moment. Let us forgive, pardon and not judge people, but rather let us leave judgment to God. In repentance let us enter into the mystery of man and bear all of humanity in our repentance, because our sins extend into the world to increase its evil and our righteousness extends into it too, to increase its good. Our responsibility as believers in Christ is to increase the positivity and light in the world because the evil one sends corruption, destruction and ruin into the world, desiring to destroy the human race, so let us be children of light, bearing the suffering world and nailing our sins upon the cross of Christ, so that Christ may bear us upon the cross, saving the world in us and granting forgiveness to those who seek it.

Christ judgment is a fire of divine love, burning the wicked and granting warmth and tenderness to the righteous. Wicked is one who judges others and the righteous is the one who judges himself.

Let him who can accept, accept.


Metropolitan of Zahle, Baalbek and their Dependencies

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