October 2016 English Newsletter Posted November 14, 2016 by admin


October, 2016


My Beloved the Benevolent,

Grace and peace wishing every goodness and blessing

Everyone wants to live in peace, but not all peace is true peace. A person may use his power and authority to achieve what he wants even if he oppresses others to do so. He could achieve a sort of peace from what he accomplishes, but this is an artificial peace that does not last. I would like to contemplate on two stories that demonstrates this peace that is based on worldly matters – an artificial peace.

            The first story is the story of King Ahab and Naboth the Jezreelite in 1Kings chapter 21. King Ahab had all the authorities of a King and wanted to take Naboth’s vineyard which was next to the King’s palace. He offered  the Jezreelite another garden or he would pay him the money it is worth, but Naboth refused saying to King Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you!” [1King 21:3]

So Ahab went to into his house sullen and displeased, and did not eat. Naboth held on to his father’s inheritance and upheld the law that says, “The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me.” [Lev.25:23] “So the inheritance of the children of Israel shall not change hands from tribe to tribe, for every one of the children of Israel shall keep the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.” [Num. 36:7] But Ahab desired Naboth’s vineyard and was saddened that he didn’t achieve his wish despite it being against the law – the law in which he as the King of Israel should uphold being that it is the Law of God. King Ahab’s wife, the evil Jezebel, intervened and orchestrated a plan against Naboth to accuse him of blaspheming against God and the King. The evil plan succeeded and Naboth was stoned to death due to this false accusation. So Jezebel went to announce to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” [1Kings 21:15] Ahab rejoiced and went to inherit Naboth’s vineyard.

Did Ahab’s joy and peace last? Truly not, because it was peace built on oppression, evil and deceit. Truly, he succeeded with his evil wife’s help to take the vineyard and take it for free, but God the just sent him Elijah the prophet to rebuke him and to tell him: Thus says the Lord, “In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, dogs shall lick your blood, even yours.” [1Kings 21:19]

Ahab sinned and the Holy Bible says, “But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up.” [1Kings 21:25] Evil and deceit gave Ahab temporary, artificial peace that did not last. But evil caught up with him and the words of Elijah the prophet were fulfilled.  [1Kings 22:35-37]

The second story is the one that our Lord Jesus Christ mentioned in the Gospel of St. Luke chapter 12:16-21: A rich man whose land yielded plentifully, rather than thanking God and thinking to help the needy 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, drink, and be merry.” [Lu. 12:18-19] This rich man rejoiced in his many goods and felt peace and security so that he would not fear the future, but this peace was an artificial and temporary peace, for a Devine voice spoke to him and said, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” [Lu. 12:20] Therefore Our Lord Jesus Christ explained to us the moral of this story saying, “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” [Lu.12:21]

            True peace does not come from the goods of the world and does not come from power and violence and does not come from plotting, deceit and evil doings. It comes from the King of Peace who said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” [Lu. 14:27] And St. Paul the Apostle said, “Live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” [2Cor.13:11]

            True peace is achieved through giving and sacrificing for others. True peace is achieved by thinking outside of oneself and giving for the sake of the comfort of others. Therefore doing good and helping the needy grants us true peace and a joyous heart. May the Lord bless all your offerings to support Santa Verena Charity Programs and grant you His true peace that surpasses all understanding.


            Metropolitan Serapion