As it is known,the man contains two elements,the body and the soul.When the body gets ill,the soul is affected,and when the soul gets ill,then the body suffers. Like any other period happens,in the time of our Lord Jesus Christ who was on earth,people suffered physically and mentally from various physical and mental diseases,because the devil himself had great power.He had managed to torture the people through the disease or his demonic interference.Thus we observe Jesus Christ healing physically and mentally the people from any disease. The purpose of our Lord's coming on earth was to crush the works of the devil,and to release the people from his dominion by giving them eternal freedom.Through His healing power,Jesus Christ casted out demons from the people who were possed by demons and gave to the patients light,life,health,freedom.These tasks were testified,like Jesus Christ Himself had told about the mission which the Father in Heaven had given Him to do. The mental and the physical health of every man lies(βρισκεται)in the hand of God,that is why the man has to be aware of his health by obeying the Will of God and avoiding the sin.Of course there can be times when the man will get sick,but in these cases,God gives patience to the ill,in order to suffer his test without complaint.God also gives the doctors and the medicines as tools of healing and by these blessings,the man should glorify God.
As it known,unfortunately there are some heretics who doubt the value of the sign of the Cross,because they consider it as a killing tool on which Jesus Christ was crucified. Futhermore, they are trying to make other people believe in their mistaken opninion.The bad thing is that there are many people in the christian world who are naive and become pawns and victims of the heretics.These men can not understand that the mood of the people who crucified Jesus Christ was responsible for the crime in Golgotha and not the tool of killing which was used by them,namely the Cross.Regardless of these heretic views,the reality about the value of the sign of the Cross,is not deleted,because its meaning is eternal.Ιn the Old Testament.as it seems,the Cross is depicted first,through the rod of Moses which he performed the sign of the Cross into the Red Sea.Secondly,it is depicted through the streching of Moses' hands during the battle against the Amalikites,by performing the sign of the Cross.Third,it is depicted,through the snake,which was risen by Moses in the desert.All these events,indicate,that the Cross is not a killing tool as foolishly believe the heretics,but a global sign ,the guardian of all over the world,the ladder and the bridge between heaven and earth.The Cross is the wood of the obedience with which the obedience of the Son of God to His Father,is expressed.It is the tool which becomes the fear and terror to the devil,whose dominion was crushed.To end this up,the Cross is a symbol of the crucifying sacrifice of the Lord and the self-denial of the Christians,after every believer is called to experience the passion of the Christ.
As it is known, the sons of Zebedy, James and John, came to Jesus and told Him << Master, we want you to do as we ask >>.He told them <<What do you want me to do >>?They answered <<when you sit as a glorious King to the Royal throne, give us a place beside you, the one who will sit οn your right side, and the other one, on your left >>.Jesus told them <<Can you drink the glass of the pain and the martyrdom, which I drink, and be baptised with the blood ,which I am baptised >>?However, carelessly, they told Him that they can. Jesus told them << the glass of the martyrdom which I drink, you will drink it, and the baptism of the sacrifice which in a few hours, I will get, you wil get it, later >>.The Lord told that, because the Apostles would be persecuted for their faith in the name of Jesus Christ. << However, sitting on my right or on the left side, it is not in my power to give to anyone who will simply ask me, but it will be given to those who shall live according to the will of God for whom this place has been prepared >>.Τhe passion of someone who wants to be continuously first, affects many people, who claim with many methods to be the first in their surroundings. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is shown every period, when people from every social cast desire to take formal places in the society. And of course, no one can blame their efforts, as long as they offer in the society and do not use evil and dark ways. When the rest of the disciples got angry with what James and John asked from Jesus Christ, the lord called them and among to the others, He told them <<whoever wants to be the greatest among you, let him be your servant. And whoever wants to be the first, must become a slave to all the people, because the son of man,did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life so that many people be released from the bondage of sin and eternal death >>.
As it is known, Jesus Christ said to Thomas << because you have seen me you have believed, blessed are those who have not seen and yet they believe >>.Woe to anyone, who would ask to touch Jesus Christ first in order to believe in Him, like Thomas did. Blessed are those who believe in Jesus Christ without asking persistently prooves which they can see or touch, but they are contened to the information in their hearts, which heart can accept the heavenly treasure of faith as God's gift .Those men do not stay much to the information which is given by their senses. Besides, how mistaken can be someone if he supports his opinion only by his senses? He observes the sun going round the earth and it is mistake. He sees a rod broken in the water and it is an optical illusion. Those who believe without the testimony of their senses are blessed,because their faith is very valuable. Later, Lord appears to them with a sensual way as a fruit of their faith. How not? Through the Holy Communion, does not the faithful receive Jesus Christ and unite with Him, and believe that He is his Lord and God? But, what we have to repeat is that God uses for every man special and proper means in order to lead and support his faith. The risks that anyone would be unfaithful are many and exist in every time.Since Thomas did not believe easily in the news of the Ressurection of the Lord, why would this event not happen to other people? So, from now on everyone must be continuously awakened and protect the faith from all its dangers which it is threatened.
As it is known to all of us,the man is consisted of two elements,namely the visible body and the invisible soul,or spirit.These two elements are combined with each other so that when the one suffers,the other does so and when the one rejoices,so does the other. With His human body,Jesus Christ Himself came to earth and He resurrected the same body from the dead and finally,He glorified it on the Heaven.Well,since the mission of the human body is very great,it is obvious that the man has to be more careful,because many dangers threaten his body through his life on earth.The greatest and most sneaky danger comes from the sin who appears in the body as inclination and propensity to evil in order to submit the man to its wishes(I mean the sin's wishes) and to turn the temple of the Holy Spirit into a residence of the evil one. However,Jesus Christ who pities man and seeks him as a lost sheep,releases him from the sin and the bondage of the evil,at the same time he also gives the health of the body with a warning not to sin again so as not to happen something to him even worse. As it is known,Jesus Christ told it to the paralytic of the Bethesda whom He healed.However the recommendation of the Lord applies to people of every age who should not sin,if they want to avoid the suffering of mental and physical injuries.For the salvation of the sensible sheep,Jesus Christ has founded His Church and those who are her genuine members,they ought not to get away from Her,because outside the Church there is death.Inside the church,Jesus Christ exists and with this way the sensible sheep,through its Sacraments (its I mean of the Church),are cleansed from every filthiness of the fless and the spirit,so as to become heirs of the Kingdom of heaven.
The water, as it is known, is one of the most essential and necessary material goods for the life of the people, and so people drink and drink again and they make sure to have it available in every moment. In other words, anyone who drinks from this natural water,gets thirsty again. However,there is also eternal and immortal water which whoever drinks of it ,does not thirst again. This water, which only Jesus Christ gives, fills the human entity and converts him into an inexhaustible source of water, according to the words of the Lord which He said to the Samaritan woman. Especially, when He met her in the well of the Patriarch Jacob, he told among the others, << if you knew the Grace of God and who is he who asks you for water, you would be the first to ask to be given water, eternal and immortal >>. The woman who desired for immortal water spontaneously said to him, << Sir, give me this water so as not to get thirsty again, and not to come to the well >>. From these words,we see that the Master reveals that, except for the existence of the natural water, which temporarily turns off the thirst of the body, there is also the spiritual water which cures the thirst of the human spirit. The spiritual water is the grace of God which makes its presence felt in the man as indoor waterfall of living water. However,even though God's grace is offered to all, unfortunately,there are many of those who refuse. They get false information and refuse to connect themselves with Jesus Christ who gives life. But those who believed in Christ,to those people He gave power to become children of God, because they were born in the baptismal font of Grace and subjugated their lives permanently in His will.
Jesus Christ has come to the world,in order to deliver men,from the darkness to light and from the power of satan,to the domination of the philanthropic God.His life was dedicated to the benevolence of the weak and the healing of the sick.One of His healing deeds was the healing of the blind man at the font of Siloam which became the reason for the blind man why he should be grateful to his benefactor.However,no one should think that the blind man is the only one who should be grateful to the savior Jesus Christ,because the blessing of God comes not only for him,but also for all His creations.There is no man who has not been blessed by God because there is nothing we have and can not be a gift of His charity.That is why we have always to be grateful before Him.The greatest blessing which Jesus offers is that He opens the eyes of the soul and He enlightens it( I mean the soul) with the true light. Of course it is needed for the man to have the eyes of the body,but if someone is going to have only the eyes of the body open and the eyes of the soul close,then he gets nothing at all.However,if the eyes of the soul are open,then he fills the eyes of the body,if they do not work properly. The grateness which every faithful owes to God,has not to be just formal words,but it has to be prooved with deeds.Well,of course the man is saved by the grace of God through his faith and not by his deeds,but it doesn't mean that he has to reduce the value of the good deeds or delete them from his life.On the contrary,the good deeds are the most important things of the new life in the name of Jesus Christ.When the faith is combined with good deeds,then the faithful is on his way to become perfect and he gains his entrance to the kingdom of God.
Whatever bad will happen to man in his life, it is not possible to be compared with the bad that happens to him, when he lets himself to be poisoned by the poison of heresy. Heresy means darkness, it's a fraud, a lie, which blurs the mind, which is the eye of the soul. So the truth is being perverted to the point that, even though it seduces its victim away from God, at the same time it creates the illusion that everything goes well and there is no danger. Great attention is needed to deal with the risk of heresy. However, attention is not only enough, but an effective weapon is also needed immediately. This weapon, is the grace of God, because only God can protect those who believe in His words, from every error. Therefore, awakened attention and the trust in God are the two wings with which anyone can be removed from every heresy and fraud. Both are needed, because if anyone is only careful, without relying on the power of God, nothing will succeed, but on the contrary, he will fall into the ego, thinking that he can handle this evil on his own. However,if he's not careful, he is again in danger, because God wants to lead the man to the truth, but with his ( I mean the man's ) own will and effort and attention and alertness. The personal effort from the one part, and especially the love and power of God from the other, will be the occasion for the believers to struggle more in order to be always guided by the Spirit of Truth.
FEW WORDS ABOUT GOD
God is uncreated and there's never been a time that He wasn't there. The time is associated with the creation,while God has His existence from Himself, regardless the time. There are not many gods,but there is only One God Who is unknowable. This, of course, does not exclude any knowledge from God, because even though God is unknowable and indescribable in His Essence,the opportunity is provided,through His actions and His relationship to the world in general and particularly to the people,to become known by man. The knowledge of God by man, of course,depends on how much he is closer to God because knowledge of God is not gnosticism but Communion. So,the man can learn about God by whatever God Himself reveals in the Bible and in His Church. Anyway, this knowledge is necessarily partial and not comprehensive.
Let's see, then, some elements of this partial knowledge. God is ineffable, infinite, His essence is unlimited,He is unknowable, omnipresent, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, all-knowing, holy, righteous, and identified with love. But let's stay a little more on this subject. When we say that God is omnipresent,we mean that God is everywhere without being placed by His creations and also without being limited by them. God is not confused or identified with the beings and so,pantheism is rejected.When we say that God is eternal,we mean that God is independent of time and therefore,He is not limited in the frames of time. When we say that God is omnipotent, it means that He can do everything. Of course,when we say everything,we do not mean those which God doesn't want to do,because God does whatever He wants.
But let's just say a few words about the trinity of God. God is called Triune,because the One God is three Persons, namely, the Divine Substance which is indivisible and undivided is common to three Persons or Hypostases.The fact that God is Triune is taught by the Bible and it constitutes the essential doctrine of Christianity. It is not about a human's thought,but it is a divine revelation which in the Old Testament, was disguised,in the New testament it became clear, and later it was formulated by the Ecumenical Synods. In the Old Testament,the fact that God is Triune,is revealed in a way which is disguised and symbolic. In the New Testament,however, the revelation of the Trinity of God is clear. In the Old Testament, the trinity of God, is not indicated clearly,because the Holy Spirit has not yet been given to the people which would lead them to the truth and so,there was a risk of this incomprehensible teaching to be misunderstood and to be thought by people,that there are many Gods. The Persons of the Holy Trinity are not parts of the Divinity, because the Divine Nature is undivided, and the God is One. However, it is Triune, because the divine Nature is not impersonal but is common in three Hypostases.Thus, the trinity of God is not in contradiction with the uniqueness,but there is a perfect harmony.The One Divine Substance,exists not impersonal but personal,namely,God is not a vague and undefined power,but He exists in a way that is conscious, rational, individual and free.Of course, what exactly are the Hypostases or Persons in the Divinity,is not the subject of examination,because it concerns the incomprehensibility of God. As it is not known what God is in His Essence, so,it is also not known,what God is in His Hypostases, because in the Divinity,neither Substance and Persons are separated,or confused. I mean, there is no Substance without the Persons or the Persons without a Substance. Among the Persons of Godhood there are no advantages or disadvantages.
As for the distinctive features among the Persons of Godhood are the following. The Father is unborn, the Son is born from the Father and the Holy Spirit is proceeded by the Father.The fact that the Father is unborn, means that He is a Person by Himself and has no other Person as a cause.The fact that the Son is born by the Father,means that He has His Father,as a cause of His ( I mean the Son's ) birth.The fact that the Holy Spirit is proceeded by the Father,means that It has the Father,as a cause of being proceeded.As for the existence of the Persons of Godhood, there is no order in time, because the birth of the Son and the procession of the Holy Spirit have nothing to do with the time and the cosmic shapes and so,it can not be placed in time. As for the ratings First, Second, and Third Person, they do not express the temporal order, but the logical order of existence of the Persons of Godhood. The fact that the Father is the cause of the Son and the Holy Spirit,does not reduce the Son and Spirit,because there was never a time that the Father would exist alone and the Son and the Holy Spirit would not exist, but there were always three Persons. So,as the Son and the Holy Spirit are not understood without the Father,the Father is also not understood without the Son and the Holy Spirit. There is no reduction and subordination among the Persons of Godhood, since their existence is the perfect communion of love.
THE CROSS OF THE LORD
The sign of the Cross inspires respect, and admiration to all the christians. Unfortunately, however,there are still people who deny its value and consider the Cross as a deadly instrument, with which Jesus Christ was crucified. They even try to lure other people in their mistaken point of view.It is also amazing that there are naive people among the christian world who follow them and become instruments and victims of them. These heretics,can not understand that the responsibility for the crime in the Golgotha is in the criminal disposal of the people who Crucified Him and not the cross itself which was used as a tool by them. But,regardless of the heretical points of view, the value of the Cross is not removed, because its meaning is eternal. The Cross has been symbolized in the Old Testament as it is shown in the following incidents. First,as the rod of Moses, which he formed the sign of the Cross on the surface of the Red sea. Secondly,as the extent of the hands of Moses during the conflict of the Israelites with the Amalekites,he formed the sign of the Cross. Third,as the serpent which was raised by Moses in the desert. All these and many other sources of information bear witness that the Cross is not a deadly instrument, as the heretics believe, but it is a global shape, the guardian of the world, the ladder and the bridge between heaven and earth. The Cross is the wood of obedience with which ( I mean the wood of the cross ) the obedience of the Son of God to His Father was manifested. It is the instrument that causes fear and terror to the wicked, whose head He crushed. And indeed,while the aim of satan was to remove Jesus Christ from life, because with His teachings paralysed his strength, and snatched people from his traps,he failed.The devil fell the moment he didn't expect to fall, after the Cross of the Lord had crushed him, literally. Satan did not understand that bringing Jesus Christ on the Cross,he would harm himself.He didn't guess that the wisdom of God would reverse the conditions with the result that, not only his murderous plans would be scrapped,but also to find his head downtrodden from the Cross. So,while Adam lost the paradise because he ate from the wood of the tree (which was forbidden to eat ), in the same way,the gates of heaven opened again to accept man with the power of the wood of the Cross. The Cross is not only the symbol of the passion and the Lord's crucifying sacrifice,but it is also the symbol of self-denial of the christians, as each of the faithful participates in the sufferings of Jesus Christ.
By John Dimos
Translated by Angela B.