My Beloved the Benevolent May 2018
Ikhristos Anesti Alisos Anesti
Every day during the Pentecostal period we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Christ and His ascension to the heavens reminds us that we are invited to heavenly life. St. Paul the apostle exhorts the Colossians (and us) saying, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Colo. 3:1-4
St. Stephen faced his persecution by looking up above towards heaven as the book of Acts mentions, “When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And said ‘Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’” Acts 7:54-56
In the world we face many struggles, persecutions, oppressions, hate, anger, evil council and devil worship as Christ the Lord told us, “In the world you will have tribulations” Jn.16:33 As St. Stephen faced the evil of his persecutors, the Bible says he looked towards heaven.
Similarly, we should be able to face the evil in the world as St. John said, “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” 1Jn.5:19 We face this world and its evil by looking up to heaven to He who is sitting at the right hand of God.
We can face this world by caring not for what is on earth, but for what is above. Our aim is heaven, as St.Paul the apostle says, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Phillip. 3:20
Man lives on the earth as a sojourner and awaits his heavenly home, “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” 2 Cor. 5:8
Thus St. Paul also says, “For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” Phillip. 1:23 The Christian person looks towards heaven, so his treasure is in heaven, for Christ our Lord commands us, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt. 6:19-21 In the story of the unjust steward; he did well when he felt he would be removed from the stewardship, “I have resolved what to do that when I am put out of stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.” Lu. 16:4 This, Christ commands us saying, “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when it fails, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.” Lu. 16:9
The rich person, whose ground yielded plentifully, forgot his eternity, “Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat and drink and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Lu. 12:16-21
May God grant us always to look above where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. May God grant us treasure for ourselves, treasures in heaven, by caring for our brethren, the poor and the needy. May God bless your offerings to support Santa Verena Charity Programs.