March 14, 2020

What Will Happen, My Friend, With Us?

By Father Andreas Agathokleous

Coronavirus - panic - concern.

Will we catch it? Will it intensify? Should we go to church? Should we commune?

Soon other questions will be asked: Where is God? Does He love us? Does He care? Why is He silent? A variety of questions depending on each person's priorities and the surrounding atmosphere.

For those who believe, there is another question: "Do I believe?" But who can say with certainty about their faith to the end? Who can be sure if not tested?

Whether or not Holy Communion transmits germs is not a matter of faith, which some have and others do not, as if the former will remain unaffected by it and for the others "it will happen." There is simply certain "proofs."

- No layperson and no cleric has become ill from Holy Communion. This is the testimony of our tradition.

- The experience of those who commune us assures us that we are not receiving ordinary bread and wine, but with the taste of bread and wine - which is not different - they are transformed into "the honorable Body and honorable Blood of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ." Can this experience of so many people over so many centuries be explained to those who have not had it?

- Many who have been sick, not all, after Holy Communion became well and they affirm its importance.

- All those who commune with a sense of unworthiness, and not as a reward for their good deeds, in a spirit of repentance, experience their inner resurrection which appears in the joy, peace and grace that exists in their heart and face.

Indeed, if we saw that all those who commune were infected with the coronavirus and died, would we commune?

Just as at the time of the persecutions not all were made Christian martyrs, there were also those who defied and denied Christ, the so-called "fallen ones," so it is today. Others will remain committed to their relationship with the Lord their God, at whatever cost, and others will refuse Him on the basis of "reason and prudence."

The point is not what those will do who by habit once or twice a year attend church and commune. The point is, what will we do, in the face of modern temptation, those of us who are called "people of the Church" and say "we believe and confess ..."

Indeed, "what will happen, my friend, with us?"

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.