July 12, 2009

Video of Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi with Translation (2)

[Below is a rough translation which hopefully will help someone with better skills than me to offer a more accurate translation. -J.S.]

Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi

Subject: The Inheritance of the Greeks.

1st minute -- When the fullness of time had come He [Jesus] was born and became the God-Man - God and man together. He continued in His preaching to the Jews, because He came from among them and had visited their ancestors and had provided for them to become the center of the human race. They did not receive Him. He showed all His love, all His sympathy, all of His paternal affection and goodness - but nothing was returned from them.

2nd minute -- Because of their corrupt faith, even though He did so many miracles among them, His justice proclaimed the following word: "You are of your father the devil (Jn. 8:44), and whatever your father tells you, you think. How can you receive Me then? From them therefore I will take away My Kingdom and give it to the nations to bear fruit upon the earth." This, my brothers, is our main duty. It is just like He spoke the first time to Abraham and told him: "I am God and I chose you to follow Me." But these did not receive Him. So He abandoned them and threw them away. "Behold your house shall be left to you desolate" (Lk. 13:35).

3rd minute -- So He turned His paternal affection and compassion towards us, to our ancestors, who gave us philosophy and knowledge and learning and a way of life. And despite all their trying they understood that something was missing. Philosophy, technology and human revelation could not achieve it. And they understood that "we need to find the Cause. We have uncovered the particles and minerals and systems of astronomy, and so forth. That which alludes us however is our unconquered enemy death, with all the philosophy and study we have done.

4th minute -- "To what gain therefore is all our labor, since our unconquered enemy death and corruption still remains among us. These must be destroyed. But this does not come from humanity. We must find the Cause, for the universe proclaims that there is order in all things. We must therefore find the First Cause for Him to tell us how to destroy death...." They learned therefore that in the area of Palestine a person appeared supernaturally and He taught the essence of their writings. So they thought maybe it could be Him, the Cause, and He has become a person.

5th minute -- They left therefore seeking for the answer in Palestine. This is a story which truly glorifies our roots and is our boast! They went and sought for Him but didn't know how to find Him. The fishermen, before they received divine grace, were simple and unlearned fishermen and they could not converse with them. But still they were desperate and asked: "Sirs, we beg you, we are Greeks. We came here in order to see Jesus. We are not leaving until we see Him." So they [the disciples] grew desperate and approached our Lord to tell Him: "Lord, some Greeks have come and want to see you". Our Lord became firm. And the Absolute out of love said: "The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified" (Jn. 12:23).

6th minute -- Therefore He took away from them [the Jews] the Kingdom and gave it to the nations such as these [the Greeks] to bear fruit, and through them to us. It was foreseen by His paternal affection that we will receive the fullness of the divine message and the correction of universal distortions. We are therefore the continuators of these. And I ask in your love to not ever forget this. Because we did not hear this from some prophet, from angels or from other Saints, but from the same One "through whom all things came into existence" who came down for us and became man for our salvation.

7th minute -- It was ordained by this same One that we are that nation given to Him for an inheritance. And from within our nation will be established by the Holy Spirit our faith [audio is a bit distorted here].... And you should remember this blessing to give you courage, faith and hope. Because the same Creator, who was begotten before all ages, destroyed the apostates and ordained us by his own mouth, not through a prophet, but by his own mouth He who is begotten before all ages illumined us and ordained us to be the continuators of this divine revelation for the fulfillment of the divine gospel.

8th minute -- Our millions of ancestors full of holiness are proof of this divine message. It is this inheritance of which we are continuators, of the millions of martyrs and confessors; of the Saints for whom we make icons and embrace their image and we plead with them for aid. These are our ancestors, who out of submission and obedience to the divine will received the fulfillment ...[recording ends abruptly].