June 30, 2013

St. Kosmas Aitolos on the Holy Apostles

By St. Kosmas Aitolos

Just as a ruler who has fields and vineyards hires workers, so our Lord Jesus Christ has us as a vineyard. He took twelve Apostles and blessed them and sent them to the whole world. And if men wish to live well and in peace here in this vain world, the most gracious God will have compassion on them and put them in paradise. He counseled them to believe and be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and to keep our God's commandments. In whatever land the holy Apostles went, the Lord said for them to bless that land. And in whatever land the Apostles went and were not received by men, the Lord said for them to shake the dust from their shoes and to depart.

Receiving the grace of the Holy Spirit, they ran as lightning, and with that grace of the Spirit they cured the lame, the crippled, the blind and those possessed by demons. And with the command of our Christ, they raised the dead. It is meet and proper, brethren, for me, the unworthy and sinful servant, to have a clean heart like that of the pure Apostles and to have that grace of the All-Holy and masterful Spirit, I who have been found worthy to come to your land. But because I am a sinner and I don't have the grace of the Holy Spirit, I beg our Lord Jesus Christ to send his grace from on high and to bless your land and your possessions and the work of your hands. And first, to have compassion on us, to forgive us our sins, and to make us worthy, my children, to live here well and in peace and to put us in paradise to glorify the Holy Trinity. And in whatever land the Apostles went, they ordained bishops and priests. They blessed that land and it became an earthly paradise: joy and gladness, a residence of angels, a residence of our Christ. And in whatever land they were not received, it became a curse and not a blessing, a residence of the devil and not of our Christ. It is meet and proper, my brethren and fellow Christians, to begin my teaching and to thank God when we finish.