St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

March 2009

Fr. Antony Portrait

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ

Glory to Jesus Christ! 

Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.” 

Believe it or not, this verse is not about monetary wealth only, but about the habit of grabbing hold of things.  Jesus is referring to possessiveness and attachment.  Only God can bring true happiness, but we convince ourselves that we can find it in things, in relationships or in ideologies.  But only eternal things can bring lasting happiness.

Material things fall apart in time.  How can they provide anything lasting?  Opinions change like the wind, as do ideologies.  Is there still a “Flat Earth Society”?  Are there still people who refuse to accept that Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon?   There have been movements since the beginning of Christianity which have tried to predict the exact date of the Second Coming of Christ.  They have all been wrong.  The Scriptures are rather clear about not making such predictions, but people still try and are still being disappointed.  That is called delusion. How easily we get distracted.  If we let go of all that stuff and focus on the one important thing, we will find the path.  The “one, important thing” is this moment.

Great Lent is “the Great Letting Go.”  Letting go of sin, yes, but also of fear.  Letting go of unhealthy attachments to things, to people, to ideology.  Letting go of all the things that hurt us, distract us and weigh us down.  Letting go of hurting other people.  Opening our hearts and minds instead of closing them.  Listening more, saying less.  Caring more for the poor and the disadvantaged instead of gorging ourselves just because we can.  The instructions on what to do come with every moment, what and who are in it and what is needed.  The Holy Spirit waits for us to wake up to this simple truth.

Such a life takes courage.  Let us pray then for courage.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Antony