Gospel Message & Recording
Napoleon once said that he could command armies because they feared him; thus, they are forced to fight for Napoleon. But Jesus neither compelled nor forced any of his followers to follow him or die for him; and still even now, after 2000+ years, millions of men are willing to give their life for him. The point here is this: Napoleon’s words did not compel his soldiers to fight for him out of loyalty but out of duty. Christ’s followers were loyal to him because his words were trustworthy; that is, they were true! They were true because Jesus had no contradiction between his words or actions. What makes the words of Christ remain forever is not the words themselves, for words alone are useless, even Christ’s; but Christ matched his words with his actions, which made his words true and in turn they remain forever. That is why in the Gospel reading were hear that “heaven and earth will pass away but the words of Christ will remain.”
In our day and time, it is hard to believe someone because seldom to we find the words of a man being backed up by his actions. Therefore, there is a general distrust in the society. Typically this can be seen in the media. The word “fake news” is familiar to all. It is being used so often to refer to the distrust the American people have of the media. Thus, we can say, the words of the media are untrue to a good number of people in America.
In the days of Parumala Thirumeni (St. Gregorios) the Priesthood had such an exalted position because the people trusted the words that came out of the mouth of the Priest. The eloquence of the Priest’s words was not relevant; but rather the life of the Priest--his actions, his deeds--were seen as in “full communion” with words. It is obvious that this is not the case anymore. In our Indian Orthodox Church (and of course the Roman Catholic Church) there has been an influx of scandals by Priests that has caused mistrust in the Priesthood. The words that were spoken on Sunday were in stark contradiction to the life lived. No details need be mentioned here; but the fact is the words of a Priest, generally speaking, do not hold the weight of truth as it used to.
But even in times like this were there is mistrust for the media, politicians, clergy, etc., the words of Christ remain true. So, we need not rely on men, for they disappoint. Lean on the words of Christ found in the Gospels. Feed on the teachings of Christ found only in the Scriptures and in the reflections of the Holy Fathers. If we do this we will understand that his love is true, his promises are true, his counsel is true. Christ never disappoints. He always gets it right.
In the end, do not be loyal to people or a group of people. Be loyal to Christ and his Word, which is true and has stood the test of time.