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Friday, September 25, 2020

Pascal's Wager and the Coronavirus


 
I will begin the ecclesiological sermons that I promised you, my beloved Christians of our Metropolis, but I consider it necessary to write to you a little more about the coronavirus.

1. We were at peace in other respects, but this evil has befallen us, which is reaping humanity. The doctors told us to take measures to protect ourselves from the evil, and the two basic measures are to keep our distance from each another and to wear the protective mask when we leave our homes and are among one another. The means were accepted and blessed by our Church and we received an order to transfer them to you. This I did as your Bishop. In fact, as you will remember from last year, along with these things I told you to pray and show repentance for our sins. Whatever evil that takes place is because of our sins. "Repent, my Christians," I said to you and I say to you. For even if the coronavirus were to be fought, another evil would come upon us, if we do not repent. But you do not care, because you do not associate the various evils with sin. Anyway!…

2. Now, however, many tell us that what is said about the coronavirus is a lie. There is no coronavirus and we do not need to be afraid nor guard against it and we should make supplications for it to leave. It does not exist! If only, my Christians, a thousand times if only it were so. But here we see people dying. And last year, when we were guarded in our homeland, we had a few victims, but now that we are not guarded, the victims have increased. We hear it and we see it. Regarding this I remembered a historical situation from the Old Testament, which I quickly remind you of. The Prophet Jeremiah cried out to the people of Judea to repent, for otherwise evil would come upon them if they did not repent. And evil came, for behold, the Babylonian dynasty, in the sixth century, lead by Nebuchadnezzar, who threatened Judea that he would destroy it. But there were also false prophets, who did not preach repentance to the people, to be saved from danger, like Jeremiah, but they said that his preaching was a lie, it was a lie that the Babylonians will bring evil to them, but instead they will always have peace in their nation. And Jeremiah replied to them, "Peace, peace, they say, when there is no peace" (Jer. 6:14). In fact, the false prophets exhorted the people to contempt for the power of the mighty Babylonians and to revolt against them. On the contrary, Jeremiah told the Israelites to stand down wisely, to guard against the enemy, to engage peacefully in their work, and to repent of their sins. The false prophets, however, with their thoughtless and unwise preaching, led the people into danger, until the evil came! In 586 B.C. Judea was destroyed.

With what I have told you, my beloved, I also want to tell you in our situation, to guard against the enemy coronavirus, to take safe measures against it and to repent and ask God to forgive us our sins. The "enemy" has done and continues to do great damage to our Greece, and to humanity as a whole.

3. But others again say that they intentionally constructed this evil for us, in order to destroy us. In regards to this I cannot say anything, because I have not studied the issue. But even if the coronavirus was made for us by satanic minds, I see the danger that exists in my house and therefore it must be guarded. The enemy threw the poison at my house, but I must first disinfect it to live in it. My Christians, I finally tell you to beware of the evil, because it is a reality and it is about our human life, which God has given us and we are obliged to preserve it. Together with our attention and the observance of the measures, which the doctors point out to us, let us not omit our prayers to the Panagia and let us all go and confess our sins.

4. At the time when I am writing this, I remembered an old dialogue between an atheist and a monk: "Unfortunate creature", the atheist said to the monk, "you uselessly occupy yourself with prayers and afflictions. Everything they told you is a lie, regarding the existence of hell. There is no other life." And the monk said to him: "And what if there is another life? What will become of you then? If it does not exist, I do not suffer any harm for what I do. What will become of you however, if another life exists?" The example seems somewhat irrelevant, but it is also somewhat relevant.

Do not miss church on Sunday with your children.

I pray that our Panagia will bless you and your families.

With many blessings,

† Metropolitan Jeremiah of Gortynos and Megalopolis

 

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.


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