May 10, 2012

Enduring Ridicule Because of the Words of the Lord

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

"The word of the Lord has brought me derision and reproach all the day" (Jeremiah 20:8).

Who are they who reproach the prophet of God, the bearer of God's word and the bearer of the power and wisdom of God? His people reproach him and say to him: you preach to us a steep path; even if it is from God, we cannot walk upon it because for us, it is too steep.

Who are they who reproach the trumpeter of the voice of the Lord when he sounds the alarm because of fire which smokes in the distance and draws closer to the city? The elders of the people reproach him and say to him: why do you not keep your mouth closed; for you it would be warmer and for us a clearer sky. That which seems to you is not a fire but it is fog from the mountain dew!

Who are they who still deride the man of God when he comes from God and proclaims the will of God? He is reproached by his wife and is derided by his brethren. They say to him: you abandon your work which feeds you and you follow after someone else's work which humiliates you.

"The word of the Lord has brought me derision and reproach all the day." Thus the prophet could have said, so could the apostle, so the martyr, so every zealot of the word of the Lord and of the law of the Lord. Not one of them was frightened by reproach nor by derision, nor turned away from witnessing nor led from the road to wayward paths. The entire outside world reproached them and were sarcastic to them. But the Lord strengthened and made them inwardly joyful. The Lord overcame the world, and the saints of God overcame those who reproached and derided them.

O Lord All-good, strengthen us internally in our hearts so that the reproaches do not disturb nor the derisions hinder us for the sake of Your Name. To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.