In this Gospel, we see that four of the most important
disciples of Christ, in their calling to follow, they abandon everything
without hesitation and doubt. They sacrifice and lose everything to become
disciples of Christ.
In order for our Church to continue its work successfully, it is in
need of people with the same virtues and the same self-sacrifice. This
however is only the first dimension of success of our Church in its
salvific work. The second reality which must characterise the work
of our church is the dimension of universality and the world-wide
character of its Evangelical or missionary work, as it is witnessed with clarity in
the Apostolic extract in the letter to the Romans by the Apostle
Paul, who said: ‘God shows no partiality’ (Rom 2:10).
Hence, the Apostle Paul stressed in Galatians, ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:28).
Therefore, this second dimension of the work of salvation of our Church is its
continuous effort to carry its Evangelical message of salvation to all
the people, to all the cultures and nations, to blacks and whites, to young and
old, to all the races on this earth.
Where this does not happen, it is as if we are trying to change the
Church into a private club, into a mere social society without God as its head, into a functional
social illness which keeps us far from our course of eternity, of
Salvation through Christ towards Paradise.
We must be sincere and honest with ourselves. Having being raised within a world where
the human weaknesses and social injustices have created the segregation
of people according to their colour, culture, and social status. Anti-christian and zealot belief systems which have been diagnosed as the ‘ism’ syndromes include disordered states such as: nationalism, patriotism, chauvinism, individualism, fundamentalism, racism, feminism, alchoholism, relativism, consumerism, atheism, nihilism, agnosticism, adoptionism, apocalypticism, dualism, gnosticism, materialism, rationalism, socialism and the list goes on… the result of these has been the building of a
huge wall of concealed hatred which influences all of us in our daily life, having
Precisely because this wall of hatred is created by the fallen human will, it is not natural, as it distances us from
God and our neighbour, it distances us from the true path to life; it is a wall, which inflicts pain on all of us,
projecting an uncertain future before us.
If we do not live the greatness
of the sacrifice of the Apostle Paul, for the equality of human beings,
as it is emphasised in this Gospel extract, then we live far from God. We
live in the sin of social or personal discrimination; we live in the sin of social
individuality, far from the Holy Body of the Church. We live in the
state of hypocrisy and the denial of the calling of the Apostle Paul, to
give priority to the common faith of the Real God. If we were joined in love
and supporting one another as relational or personal human beings, we could then face life’s difficulties together,
and proceed towards the eternity of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Only our indiscriminate love in every direction, towards God, creation, and every person no matter what colour, shape or cultural background, will help us to eradicate the hidden wall of hatred, and in its place to build bridges of communication, contact, and sincere collaborations.
Only if we
build bridges of love and compassion can we walk securely in the future. Running away,
and isolation, is not the best solution, we do not help either ourselves
or those whom we hate.
Father Vasilios Gontikakis of Iviron Monastery on Mount Athos said: “our neighbor is not simply an indispensable companion on the way of life. He is an integral part of our spiritual existence. Only in losing himself for God and for his fellow man, his brother, can man find the true dimension of his own life. ‘He who loses… finds’.”
Therefore, our life is common and we can create a beautiful life if we leave space
in our hearts for Christ’s great form to reign. The security which we dream about living, both for our children, and
ourselves, can only be born from our willingness to appear honest and
honourable with the word of the Gospel.
Only if we allow Christ
to guide us in our life, do we have hope of living in a better world,
which will also lead us to the eternity of Paradise.