If we love Christ our Lord and our Saviour, we must serve His Church with gladness.
Do we boast about serving the Church? If so How?
Archimandrite Nabil Kachab | 01/09/2017
When this question was put to the holy Apostle Paul and he had to defend his authority before the Corinthian Christians, he answered in this way: “If I must boast, I will boast in my infirmities” (2Cor.11:30). Boast in infirmities? Without question, the humble realisation of our infirmities is beneficial for each of us, but how can we serve the Church in this way?
At the same time, the holy Apostle insists on his answer and explains: For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Cor. 12:10). The Apostle writes from the fullness of his heart and from deep conviction. His meaning is direct. He speaks of the Christian principle of life.
Christianity upsets the usual concepts dominant in the world, and in particular the concept of power. Christian power is meekness, love and sacrifice. Meekness is the law of the new life and action, under whose banner the Gospel declared war on the world:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are they that weep for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
And so, two contradictory laws of life stand one against the other, two kingdoms: the kingdom of the meek and the kingdom of power. The kingdom of the meek is forced to wage war against the kingdom of power, while located in its midst and surrounded on all sides by the kingdom of power and force.
Each of us is called to put on the armour of righteousness and become a soldier for Christ and his church. Each of us must participate and serve in various ways according to the talent that has been given to him. St Paul writes:
Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called (1Cor. 7:20).
Translating this quotation into contemporary concepts, we can say, there doesn’t exist a constructive, good profession or social position, where a good person could not at some time or another contribute with his good might to the work of the Church. In particular the work of the Church missions. In reality, the Church primary task is to bear witness to Christ her saviour.
We need to spare a thought to our own mission in the Philippines where there is a great opportunity to witness our Christianity and to our ORTHODOXY. We remember fondly our father and chief shepherd Metropolitan Archbishop Paul of Thrice-Blessed Memory who established the mission in the Philippines, bringing good tidings to those who are searching for it.
We need to spare a thought to the refugees who came from Syria and other places. We need to remember that Christ himself took refuge in Egypt running away from those who sought to kill him.
Through our own St Raphael Mission, we need to constantly feed the homeless and encourage others to contribute, participate and be aware of those who are in need. We need to have courage like St John the Baptist who said to Herod “It is not lawful for you to have Herodias, the wife of your brother Philip” (Matt:14:3-4).
We need to witness to the Truth of our faith, it is imperative that we say NO to same sex marriage and make sure our voices are heard through the up and coming plebiscite (for more info please visit www.marriagealliance.com.au).
We need to keep on growing in our faith from glory to glory until we attain the fullness of Christ’s stature.
One must see the Church as the one body of Christ, a single organism, a single substance. Each person’s individuality is the plot entrusted to him, for him to labour over, clean up and produce fruit, the fruit of the Spirit that creates the light for others to see and glorify our Heavenly Father.
In working on ourselves, we work for the entire Church, for its Head, the selfless Saviour. In letting one’s plot become overgrown, in neglecting it, condemning it, we bring harm not only to ourselves but also to the Church. By not gathering for our own soul, we scatter what belongs to the Church and we become bad stewards.
Our Service to the Church Consists of Many Catalysts:
Through our personal Christian life, the spirit of the values of the Gospel flows into the life of the world. In our personal qualities lies the pledge or the internal unity of the Church as a whole and of the parish in particular. It is from this source that there come mutual understanding, obedience, unanimity in goals, friendly labour for the glory of God and the glory of the Church.
This is what ACOY is called upon to do and achieve. This is what ACOY is doing for the common good of the church pressing towards the goal with zeal and enthusiasm, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10).
Thus a completely special Church atmosphere is established and a person feels that he is in a special world. This gives rest and joy to the soul, refreshing and renewing it.
One strives to come to it as if to a new earth, the earth of the meek that leads to the heaven of peace. In it, one feels the beneficial power of the Church within oneself.
It is easier in such circumstances for the soul to open up for the reception of the breath of the grace of God that abides in His Church. But if this spirit is absent; if within the groups of the Church there are divisions, discord, the struggle of ambitions and self-love, then can one, in such circumstances, speak to the power of the Church?
Certainly not, self-promotion is no devotion. We must always remember that United we stand, Divided we fall. It is very logical and truthful when we do not work with one mind and one accord we do not get the benefit of our power.
We have many talents and many gifts to share. The Church needs them all, the local parish, our ultimate home, must preserve and prepare the ground for our children, to come in time equipped and ready to fill it.
Our children need to be educated in the faith on all levels, this is the safe haven that we need to leave to them in our unwritten will. It is a gift from God that has no condition, no regulation, no law. It has the label of LOVE.
I hope and I pray that all the above will continue to be in action, with a new understanding that will strengthen our relationship with each other and with Christ who is always ready to embrace His children bestowing upon them:
His Grace, His Peace and His Love that surpasses all understanding. Wishing you a Blessed and Joyful New Ecclesiastical Year asking the Almighty God to Bless the Crown of this Year with His Goodness. Amen