As the Great Lent is approaching, the Church reminds us about the Last Judgement. Judgement Day will test the character of our lives and our ability to live in eternity with God. Discovering the truth about ourselves is a frightening prospect that many will be keen to avoid. What if we will find the truth about ourselves too much to bear?
Yet the fear of God's judgement motivates us to fight our inner battle with ourselves, oppose sin and stand up against the temptations of the world. One day, we will come before God. It will be a good day for those who have lived with God all their lives, who recognised Him in every person and event. But those who refused to know God, and lived selfish lives of comfort and contentment will be miserable. As Father Sophronius (Sakharov) said: "My sister, my brother, my life". Whether we will become one with God, or sink into the darkness of our sin, will depend on how we treat our neighbours.
God did not create mankind for Sodom and Gomorrah; he did not want us to live in isolation. His plan was to bring us into unity with Him and one another. He is leading us to the Kingdom of Heaven where there will be no separation between and among us. There will be nothing but His love.
We have cluttered our hearts with too many useless things. We live in a world where everything is for sale. On the outside, we have few reasons to complain - we are not going hungry, we are well dressed and we even travel abroad on holiday from time to time. But there is too little faith and love.
Overcoming our sin and selfishness is beyond our powers. To do so, we have to let our old selves die, but we cannot. We have too much self-pity, and we stick hard to our past ways. But what is impossible for a human being is possible for God. Christ came to this world and founded the Church to make us victorious in our struggle.
As members of His church, we are not in the majority. But Christ is with us. Fear not, the small flock! (Luke 12:32). We keep our faith, treat others with kindness, do our work with care and diligence, give comfort to our neighbours and do our best to help them. Imagine how much light we are bringing into people's lives! If we have peace in our hearts, thousands will be saved around us. We will win our inner struggle. Victory will happen in our hearts and minds, our homes, and workplaces. For Christ is in our midst!
We do not know the date of the Last Judgement, but it is already happening in our lives. We must therefore be mindful of our actions, words and thoughts. We will be held responsible for them. God will question us: "I have given you My Body and My Blood. You have received the fullness of My Love. What did you use them for?"
We should preoccupy ourselves with these thoughts, but not fall into despair. Instead, we should work hard to reform our lives. On Sunday evening we will come together to ask each other for forgiveness. A new period will begin for us at Church and in our daily lives. May this Great Lent become our chance to change our lives, ascend to greater purity, and fill our relationships with God’s love.