“When Man thanks God for His blessings, envy does…
A homily of His Beatitude John the Xth
in the Mariamite Cathedral.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Today my beloved, we listened to a fragment from Saint’s Paul epistle to the Ephesians, in which the Apostle says that God rendered us numerous blessings and gifts. He made some of us apostles, some teachers, some evangelists and some preachers. And all these gifts -literally speaking- are “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”. These words are extremely important. They remind us about some of essential things in our ecclesiastical life:
First of all, they remind us that God, whose Nativity and Theophany we are still celebrating, and Who delivered Himself for us in order to save and sanctify us for our perfection, He loves Man this much so that He gave him too many gifts and abundant blessings. That is why we observe in our daily life and at work that each of us has a tendency to do something specific.
Every Man has been given the gift to shine and to be creative in a certain field unlike the others. This is a gift from God for the perfecting of the saints. In other words, we have these numerous and diverse gifts not to envy and to strive each other. Because sometimes when one of us sees himself different from the other, he forgets that this difference is a gift from God, and that it is for the perfection and edification. That is why he falls in his selfishness, losing the ability to look toward the other with the eye of joy or happiness, but the eye of envy and jealousy, asking himself: why I’m not like him? Why is he better than me? Why does he pray more than me? Why does he live a life that I cannot live?
By this way, he does not give thanks to God for the gift that he has, unable to see the good that he has. He does not take in consideration that God gives each of us a gift that we should thank Him for it, so that when we thanks God for this gift, envy does not find a path into our hearts.
Envy blinds Man’s discernment, and makes him lose the good sight that God rendered him. So, he looks to the other, unhappy for his progress and growth. Moreover, he gets upset and envy his neighbor or brother.
These diverse gifts and talents given for everyone are for the perfecting of the saints, for the integration not for the conflict and dispute. That is why no one can get everything. Each of us has certain gifts and talents, and when we gather all of them, we complete and enrich each other.
Secondly, the ministry… Sometimes God gives us a certain gift. In return, instead of using this gift to do our ministry, we get proud because of the knowledge that we realize in us, neglecting our gifts and getting satisfied only by our pride and arrogance. So, we have to remember the parable of the talents in which God rendered everyone some talents, but that one who had received one talent went and digged in the earth and hid the money doing nothing with them.
This is what happens mostly. We neglect our talents or get proud of them. Moreover, some of us may say: I am better than the others… They are not like me… I should remain as I am… And this is a big sin!
So, the talent that you’ve got from God was not given to you in order to get proud and to underestimate the other who does not have it. Keep in mind that he has another gift, and that what you got and what he got are for the ministry. You serve in a certain field, the other serves in another field. Everyone is doing his ministry through the gift he has given.
Thirdly, the Apostle says: “for the edifying of the body of Christ”, the Church. This is how the Church is built, when the gifts and talents given to us from God are used for the perfection not for the conflict. Only in this way we build the body of the Christ and we build the Church. Only by this way each of us becomes one of the Church’s stones, taking part in the ministry through the gift that he got from God.
The Apostle concludes saying that: behaving this way “We all come in the unity of the faith” becoming one family, one body, one Church, unto a perfect man, “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”
Yes.. This is the last goal of our God’s incarnation and the whole process of salvation that He did, the goal of Baptism, the goal of holding His Cross, the goal of resurrection and sending us the Holy Spirit. All these, were done so that we may live in purity, holding this loving God Who revealed Himself to us in order to dwell in us sanctifying our lives through Him. Only then, we become alive stones in the unique body, the body of the Christ.
May God give us strength, so we may become stones, alive stones in His Church. May His name be glorified and blessed for now and ever, Amen.
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