Monday, April 1, 2024

Met Ephrem (Kyriakos): Death

Arabic original here.


One who believes in God does not die. He reposes. After his repose, he encounter's the Lord's face and hopes for His mercy.

Entering into heaven or the kingdom is something connected to divine mercy. Our spiritual father once told us students, "You will not enter the kingdom after you die unless you bring with you have with you a friend that you have drawn with you to God during your life." During your life, you are responsible for fighting the passions and practicing the spiritual exercises of prayer and charity, but entering into heaven or the kingdom is something connected to divine mercy.

A secular person clings to the health of the body and fears death. Contemporary people have become secularized, this culture of the flesh, thus the fear of death.

Our faith states that man is eternal through God's grace. The believer surpasses death by thinking of the resurrection.

This Body that we receive in the divine sacrifice is the cause of new life. When we receive, the priest says, "The servant of God receives the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of his sins and for life everlasting."

The Evangelist John says, "He who eats of My body and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in him forever."

Christian preparation for death is through seeking forgiveness. That is, through the mystery of confession, without diminishing the importance of doctors' work.

With regard to old age, scientists today work to lengthen human life and to a certain extent have succeeded in this effort. Within this domain, however, the philosophy of hedonism is a philosophy outside the Church, since it claims that life is only centered on health and wealth and not on the spiritual life and obedience to God.

Old age is a mystery of great humility. In it, the Church reminds us of our life's entire meaning as a work of repentance and preparation for eternal life.

Earthly happiness has taken the place of the believing Christian's concern for receiving the gladness of God's giving eternal life.


Metropolitan of Tripoli, al-Koura and their Dependencies

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