My Beloved the benevolent
Khristos Anesti Alithos Anesti
Our celebration of the Holy Resurrection of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ continues throughout the Holy Fifty Days. On Thursday, June 10th, we celebrate the glorious day of the Ascension Feast and conclude the fifty-day period by celebrating the Feast of Pentecost – the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the Apostles – on Sunday, June 20. The Holy Spirit, as Christ said, “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” Jn. 16:14. The salvific work of Christ, which He accomplished on the wood of the cross, granted us, through His glorious resurrection, to rise with Him, “and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” Eph. 2:6 The Holy Spirit grants us the new birth, so we die and rise with Christ, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Gal. 2:20. The new life in Christ Jesus is a life of walking in the Holy Spirit. As St. Paul says, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Gal. 5:16. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Gal. 5:25.
Walking in the Spirit is walking wisely because the Holy Spirit is the spirit of wisdom, “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” Is. 11:2.
+The Holy Spirit grants us wisdom and understanding. To understand the will of God towards us, God desires everyone to be saved and to know the truth, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” 1Thess. 4:3. A wise man understands that the goal of life is to glorify God with his life. Life is a blessing from God. The unwise wastes his life in the life of sin and forgets the purpose for which God granted him life, “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” 1 Cor. 6:20.
+The Holy Spirit grants us the power to face the world and its desires and to put on the whole armor of God, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against power, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Eph. 6:10-12.
+The Holy Spirit grants us true knowledge, so we realize the demise of this world. The Lord Christ presents to us the parable of the rich man whose ground has yielded plentifully, so that we can learn wisdom in how to act when God grants us the richness from the abundances of this world. The man whose ground yielded plentifully thought of himself and his life on earth and did not think of eternity, “And he thought within himself, 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, drink, and be merry.’” But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ ‘So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’” Lu. 12:17-21.
This man was rightly called foolish because he did not act wisely:
1. He did not realize that this richness is a blessing from God, and he did not thank God, rather he believed that he was the reason for his own wealth and the increase in bounties of this world. A successful man may be afflicted with pride and mistakenly think that he is reason for his success. While the wise man knows that the secret behind his success is God, the giver of all good things.
2. He did not realize the responsibility he had toward others in need, but he only thought of himself and how to enjoy himself. “Rest,eat, drink and be merry”, but what about the others? He reminds us of the story of the rich man and Lazarus, how the rich man lived a life of luxury and did not care about the sick Lazarus who was laying in front of the door of his palace.
3. He did not realize the importance of heavenly treasure, but rather put his hope and happiness on earthly treasures. Thus, Christ our Lord commanded us in the Sermon on the Mount, “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 destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt. 6:19-21″.
4. He did not realize that his life on earth was a temporary life, so, the voice of God reminded him of this fact: “But God said to him, Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” Lu. 12 :20. The wise man realizes that his life is temporary and that he can depart this life at any time; thus, the wise man is always ready. In the parable of the virgins, the virgins who were ready were called wise virgins, but those who were not ready were called the foolish virgins.
Let us rejoice in the Holy Spirit of God, which we have received in the sacrament of the Holy Chrismation, which leads us in the life of holiness, grants us understanding and discernment in our lives, grants us victory over Satan’s deceptions, and always reminds us that we have a responsibility towards others in need. Our lives on earth are temporary, and we must always be ready and abundant in the work of the Lord, which is the work of doing good deeds, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1Cor. 15:58.
May God bless your gifts to support Santa Verena’s Charity programs.