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April 26, 2020

Like Thomas Let Us Ask To See Christ (Monk Moses the Athonite)

By Monk Moses the Athonite

Last Sunday we celebrated the glorious Resurrection of the Lord. The echo of the great celebration remains.

It's bright light bathes us. The resurrected Christ visits the unbelieving Thomas and us. He lowers Himself to our weakness. He allows Himself to visit us in order to dispel our disbelief, doubt and fear.

At midnight on Pascha was born joyful hope, the fearlessness of death, the death of death, the death of despair. The terrible and tedious darkness recedes. A powerful light comes, that illumines all things. Nothing can be hidden. Everything is now clear. The people are no longer indecent. With the Resurrection of Christ there was inspired another wind, transformative, that came to regenerate people, to the beginning of a new life, another way of life. Our nature has shifted.

With the Resurrection people have regained their value, their position, their destination. They are enlightened, illuminated, shining, they are at peace and rejoice truly and strongly. One will easily wonder how this can be done when one's income is declining every day, one cannot make ends meet, is distressed and saddened by expenses, needs, installments, obligations, debts and interest? In our evil days when the crisis brings many to their knees, how can one rejoice in the Resurrection? Thomas' suspicion, disbelief, doubt and fear return. Have we been fooled into following someone who was Crucified and Resurrected?

Last Holy Week the passionless Christ suffered His Passion for us who are impassioned. He who was sinless suffered for us sinners. On the cross He took our passions and crucified them. Our many passions, terrible and various, such as deadly hatred, demonic pride, abysmal individualism, unrelenting jealousy, unbridled selfishness, unlimited greed, manic lust, invincible ambition, abundant wickedness and more. The passions brought phobias, disadvantages, unrest, nervousness, imbalances, psychological upheavals and internal emptiness.

Nowadays, the modern Greek desires to touch, like Thomas, the truth, to be convinced, after all, of the truth of the matter. Many disappointed him. He can no longer believe them. The severe economic crisis, unemployment, the dark future, the harsh daily news are rather disappointing. Young people with severed wings find it difficult to see far, they see their beautiful dreams drowning, their aspirations fail, their hopes fade so quickly.

Like Thomas, let us ask to see Christ, even to touch Him, so that we may be convinced. He is the only one who will not disappoint us, will never discourage us. As long as we freely and effortlessly acknowledge our passions - our mistakes, our disbelief, our caution, our cold faith, our indifference, our erroneous self-esteem and our over-rationalism. The struggle to turn opposing passions into intrinsic virtues never ceases for anyone nor by any economic crisis. As long as we really want it. Killing the passions will bring dispassion, sadness joy, despair hope, to another level and size.

Then we too, like our beloved friend Thomas, will exclaim with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our fervor: "My Lord and my God, glory to You!" Brotherly, humbly and friendly, I wish we all had a personal encounter with the Crucified and Risen Christ, like this exquisite one that Thomas had, who was never really a complete unbeliever, but a believer who asked for some evidence, a few proofs to be sure. Of course, Christ said that the most blessed are those who will believe in Him without seeing Him and without asking for signs like Thomas. Let's not forget that too, because I think it's quite important.

Source: From the newspaper Makedonia, 30 April 2011. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.