by Bible Illustrated 103 views
Throughout the day we meet and encounter different people - but ask yourself: Have you seen God today?
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00:00 Intro
00:31 Individuals and Actual Persons
01:16 Formality and Encounters
01:42 Who Stands Before You?
02:58 Outro
Homily: Bishop Gregory of Düsseldorf (Serbian Orthodox Church)
Sound Editing: Miloš Đekić
Music: "Spirit of Fire" by Jesse Galahad
Narration: Miloš Đekić
Illustration: Reader Bojan Teodosijević
Homily of Bishop Gregory of Düsseldorf and All Germany of the Serbian Orthodox Church, on occasion of the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple, the Year of Our Lord 2021, given at the Monastery of Ostrog:
Take care of every meeting, of every encounter! For oftentimes encounters with people around us are, in reality, encounters with God. Do not allow yourself that your relationship with your neighbors becomes careless and formal. Be not individuals, but actual persons. For individuals have their formal relations, while actual persons have - encounters. Individuals have organizations and societies, and actual persons have - community.
The world wants individuals. Shallowness. Carelessness. Relations that have no depth, that become insignificant to us. Formal and shallow relations are therefore the fruit of this world. God manifests Himself in those encounters, but we don't notice Him, we don't live those encounters through. There are no random encounters, only our carelessness.
It isn't a Christian ideal to be nice and proper to someone while keeping at a distance the people that they actually are. The Christian ideal is to see God in our neighbour, to see the will of God (or to see God's reprimand) in every meeting, in every encounter. An encounter does not mean distance nor being proper, however. God meets us infinite number of times through our neighbors that we do not see, or understand them as a burden or a punishment. God manifests Himself through a beggar on the street, a worker in the post office, through a nervous driver… We need to give a chance to others for God to work through them. We need to see the Other!
That is why it's important to make an effort and to pray that every relationship we have is not a formality but an encounter, and to provide the Lord with the opportunity to meet our loved ones through us as well.
That is why it's important to follow every encounter through and proxy it with the Holy Spirit, for we may be gazing before us at one of the greats. Maybe in this child grows a future saint? Maybe this man conceals a great righteous man within him? Maybe someone is a great martyr? Maybe someone has a big prayerful heart? Maybe that person helped out someone so much that the Lord has provided them with immense spiritual strength? And yet, very often, we pass each other as if the other person doesn't exist. And every encounter we have should be the meeting - the Meeting of the Lord. Each meeting we have should be as described by Egyptian monks: “When you’ve beheld the face of your brother, you’ve beheld the face of your God.”
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