St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

August 2019 Reflection

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Christ is in our midst.

In this time when the Faith is so often misrepresented by hate-filled purveyors of a Christianity utterly foreign to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a religion tied to the craving for power and wealth, we who love Christ are called to a different way of life.

Richard Rohr writes this: "Christianity is a lifestyle - a way of being in the world that is simple, non-violent, shared, and loving." He offers that in the process of the Faith becoming an established religion, the whole idea of lifestyle change was lost. He continues, "One could be warlike, greedy, racist, selfish, and vain ... and still believe that Jesus is one's 'personal Lord and Savior' ... The world has no time for such silliness anymore. The suffering on Earth is too great."

Above all we do not want to be a cause of suffering to anyone. We are called to alleviate suffering where and when we can, to bring peace to the afflicted and not to afflict them, to welcome strangers and not to turn them away, to remember that all humankind is one, and nothing, not race, gender, or creed, or anything else has the power to break that essential unity. The separation exists only in our minds and is nothing more than a terrible illusion. By perpetuating this illusion, we cause suffering to others and betray the Gospel.

Jesus told his disciples, "You are the light of the world." This goes for us as well. But we must choose to let our lives be light-filled by living to the best of our ability in a way that reveals Jesus Christ to the world. We must be what our name implies, "little Christs."

I fear there is not enough of that going on these days. Christianity has been hijacked by politics and politicians and has become an unforgivable parody of itself. When the Good News is so needed, we we have allowed it to be replaced by very bad news indeed.

"The world has no time for such silliness anymore."

With love in Christ,
    Fr. Antony