Patriarch John X celebrated divine services at St. George Cathedral in Worcester, MA, on July 19-20, 2015.A homily of His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch, in the church of the Dormition of the Lady, Balamand; originally published on http://antiochpatriarchat....
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
The fragment that we heard today from the Gospel highlights an essential aspect of Man's life, and the rapport between him and God.
The ten lepers, who came to Lord Jesus, asked him saying: "Master, have mercy on us!", and as they went they were cleansed. Only one of them, who was Samaritan, turned back glorifying the name of God with a loud voice. He thanked the Lord Jesus, and fell down on his face at His feet. The Lord said: "Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger".
The relation between God and Man has many aspects:
- One of these aspects is fear, when we deal with God as a judge who seeks to punish us. That is the reason why we do what we do and what He asks us to do, because we are afraid of His punishment and judgment.
- The second aspect, when we deal with God, consciously or unconsciously, as the One that fulfills our needs, as a servant for our needs. So, we pray for Him, asking Him to give us from His blessings and to resolve our problems. But sometimes we become skeptical, when we ask for something and do not get a response. So, we ask ourselves: Why are we praying? What is the use of my prayer? I am praying and lighting candles, but all in vain. I wonder whether God listens to me or not? Does God exists?... This is what I meant when I described our relationship with God saying that He is a servant for our needs and requests.