Have We Decided Who We are?

Passages: Is. 41:4-14; Heb. 7:11-25; Lk. 19:12-28
Ընթերցուածքներ՝ Եսայ. ԽԱ 4-14; Եբրայ. Է 11-25; Ղուկ.  ԺԹ 12-28

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen!

Who are you today? Who shall we be from this moment on? We who declare the Risen Lord, we who proclaim Christ the savior every Sunday as we sing Krisdos I mej mer Haytnetsav. Are we changed, renewed, or are we the same as the lame, blind, deaf and mute? Who are we today and who shall we be from this moment on? Another year comes rolling to an end, what has changed in us? Sure, there is the pandemic, economic unrest, uncertainty of the future and what lies ahead. It isn’t easy with all the uncertainty and yet, it is easy to point and say, look at the others, look at the world and at those who are on the outside. Yet, Christ message has never been to reflect against the world but to be a reflection of Him. For this reason, St. Ignatius of Antioch teaches us, “do not have Jesus on your lips, and the world in your heart.” It is easy to condemn that which is different, yet, Christ’s Gospel, whether we celebrate Dec. 25 or Jan. 6 has never been about condemning the evils, but rather about being the good, the light and hope. For Christ’s message of peace, hope and love is about victory over our own sin, over our own hatred, our own pain. Christ came into this world to declare a victorious Gospel over my demons, your demons, and the death which like a veil covered our eyes from God’s love. Therefore, who are we today when we declare Christ with our lips, through our prayers and hymns?

Are we like the Wise Magi, who come seeking Christ in wisdom? Are we like King Herod, who looked to hurt and kill the child of God? Are we the shepherds, who received the herald of the King of David being born in Bethlehem, and who ran seeking this gift of mercy? Are we like the Pharisees, who looked only to their understanding to make sense of God’s plan? Are we like so many others, who ran in fear the moment they faced pain and trouble? My dears the question remains, who are we when we declare to believe in Christ Jesus?

Because to each of us God has given wisdom, understanding, a calling, peace, love, hope and blessing. As the Parable teaches us in the Gospel, to each of us something have been given that we are called to use. Regardless, to whom how much has been given the underlying message that Christ is asking us through the parable is, what did we do with what God gave us? Did we change? Did we build? Did we repent? Did we humble ourselves, our egos, our understanding in order to be lifted up to God’s wisdom? Did we change using that which God gave us?

If we only justified our actions, just as we saw the last individual in today’s parable, rather than live in humility, then we only brought pain and damage to our soul as Abba Poemen teaches. But if we rely on God and not on our abilities, God will come to our aid. (Abba Ammanos) My dears, we all want to see the world change, we want to see evil disappear, we want to see healing take place, our Churches full, our homes only filled with love.

However, our faith is not like today’s modern Christmas season, commercial and tangible; an Amazon 2 day delivery click away. God’s love and healing is a path in Christ Jesus that will take a lifetime to understand. Christ’s message, the Gospel is not a moment, it is not an idea, it is not a product we order customized to our needs. We are called to be changed, through the life we live, the choices we make, the cross we carry everyday – at Church, at home, in the workplace, with our friends, etc.

From our baptism we are equipped with the talents, the light, wisdom, love, peace and hope that strengthens and builds us up into who we are supposed to be in Christ Jesus. What will we do with what God has given us? Who will we be?

Therefore, as the year ends, as the days draw near and we make resolutions for what the next year will bring, let us ask, who are we in Christ Jesus today? Who will we remain to be knowing, hearing, listening and proclaiming with our lips Christ Jesus born and revealed to us today? Will we justify our actions and choices, or will we use this time to ask questions, learn, read Scripture, humble ourselves before the Lord in order to be made into who we are called to be, which is Christ Jesus.

Be Christ Jesus, my dears; Be Christ Jesus, my dears; Be Christ Jesus, my dears. For Christ came to renew us and make us a reflection of Him. His love, his healing, his justice, his forgiveness, his hope, etc. are the talents, by which we have been equipped to declare Christ the King not only with our lips but also with our hands, feet, thoughts, choices, and life we live. Only by being Christ will Christ be reflected into this world; only by being Christ will darkness disappear and truly together everyday we can declare Krisdos I mej mer Haytnetsav – Christ is revealed amongst us! May the grace and glory of Christ Jesus be with us all and may the Holy Spirit illuminate our hearts and minds to the Will of God the Father, Amen!

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