When we see carnage at the hands of demonically motivated murderers as we witnessed tonight, we certainly pray for the victims and their families. We pray first for those who lost their lives. We pray next for those whose lives will never be the same because they happened to be near, to be eyewitnesses, to the evil that occurred. We don't often think of praying for the perpetrators, but as Christians, we are called to do even this.
Our Lord, after putting down yet another attempt by Pharisees ("the world") to trip Him in His own words, took His Apostles aside, and He taught them.
"I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!" (Luke 12:4-5)
Blessed Theophylact explains that those who kill the body do a small thing, for the body will die anyhow. Men, he teaches, can direct their rage only against the perishable body. The last step of their plotting against us is the death of our flesh. But men have no power whatsoever against destroying the soul. Only God has the power to cast the soul into hell.
If we serve our Lord and are faithful to live according to His commandments, to repent of our sins, to love our neighbor, and to love our enemy, then the death of our flesh is simply the event that brings our passage to eternal life.
The deranged murderers who plotted this evil against the people of Paris who, having killed others before killing themselves, are not the martyrs in this event. The martyrs are the innocents whose bodies were slain, but whose souls were sent to their Creator.
May our Lord comfort those suffering tonight. May He remember in His kingdom those whose bodies were slain, but whose souls now rest with Him.
Welcome to Saint Herman's, Hudson, Ohio
This blog is a partial compilation of the messages, texts, readings, and prayers from our small mission community. We pray that it will be used by our own people, to their edification. And if you happen by and are inclined to read, give the glory to God!
The blog title, "Will He Find Faith on the Earth?" is from Luke 18:8, the "Parable of the Persistent Widow." It overlays the icon of the Last Judgment, an historical event detailed in Matthew Chapter 25, for which we wait as we pray in the Nicean Creed.
We serve the Holy Orthodox cycle of services in contemporary English. Under the omophorion of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Bulgarian Patriarchal Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia, we worship at 5107 Darrow Road in Hudson, Ohio (44236). If you are in the area, please join us for worship!
Regular services include:
Sunday Divine Liturgy 10AM (Sept 1 - May 31)
930AM (June 1 - Aug 31)
Vespers each Saturday 6PM
We pray that you might join us for as many of these services as possible!