In this video, Metropolitan Silouan of Mount Lebanon delves into a powerful message about Christians embodying light in the world. Drawing insights from the Gospel reading for the 19th Sunday After Pentecost (2nd Sunday of Luke): Luke 6:31-36 (Love for enemies), Metropolitan Silouan enlightens us on the profound virtue of kindness and love, even to those who may not express gratitude. Metropolitan Silouan advocates for a life of service infused with love, underscoring that true service becomes effortless when driven by love. He highlights the Christian calling to serve others selflessly, emphasizing the pivotal role love, sacrifice, and hope play in this noble endeavor.
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English translation by Waad Rabahie
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East, Saint Elias Monastery (Shwayya, Lebanon), October 1st, 2017
The Christian is a light in the world, he or she respects all people, serves all people, loves and helps all people to find the way of Christ.
They might not want, they might fight and persecute. However, Jesus told us a beautiful word that Christians live, and it becomes a light for them in the days of crisis and troubles: “Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”. (Matthew 11:30)
What is the easy yoke and what is the light burden? And can this saying be possible? Can the yoke be easy?
It’s not possible. If we go back in history, we see how the yoke of slavery was heavy and unbearable. But what is the yoke for Christians? It is the service and it becomes easy when it is done with love.
We cannot serve without love, and expect it to be easy. We all serve one another, parents serve their children, and children serve their parents when they grow up, we serve our churches, our homelands, and our people, we serve strangers, we serve the homeless, the unemployed, and we serve each other.
Service becomes easy when it’s done with love. How does the burden become light? This is not possible except with one virtue that we, Christians, have; and that is hope. The burden is the sacrifice, because service without sacrifice is impossible, so we must sacrifice. And when we sacrifice with hope, the burden becomes light. And thus Christians can serve with love and sacrifice with hope.
And so Jesus and saint Paul the apostle said: “Be merciful, just as my Father also is merciful, For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.” And if this was not the testimony of Christians in the first centuries and it continued, the world would have been in a worse state today.
No matter how difficult this speech may seem to us, there is still hope, a great hope. Because I believe that when man becomes aware of himself and his difficulties and pains, he finds in the word of God great comfort, he finds great light.
Because without God and Jesus, we cannot find patience in hardships, nor can we find light in the darkness, nor can we find love when love disappears.