July 31, 2013 + About the Last Awaiting
St. Nikolai Velimirovich, The Prologue of Ohrid, July 31st
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless (2 Peter 3:14).
Brethren, what is our last awaiting? In the night we await the day and in the day we await the night and again the day and again the night. But this awaiting is not our last awaiting. Brethren, what is our last awaiting? In joy we tremble waiting for sorrow and in sorrow we wait with hope for joy and again sorrow, and again joy. But not even these awaitings are our last awaitings. Brethren, our last awaiting is the awaiting of the Judgment of God. When the judgment of God comes, the Dreadful Day "which burns like a furnace" (Malachi 4:1), then we welcome all that we deserve; a day for some, without change into night, and night for others, without change into day; joy for some without change to sorrow and sorrow for others without change to joy. Brethren, that is the last awaiting of the human race, whether he knows it or does not know it, whether he thinks about it or does not think about it.
But, you faithful should know this and you should think about this. Let this knowledge be the zenith of all your knowledge and let this thought direct all your other thoughts. In the knowledge and contemplation of this, include that which is even most important, include your diligence "that you may be found of Him in peace without spot and blameless" (or still more correctly translated: pure and blameless). Be diligent to be pure in mind and in heart, correct in your conscience and in peace with God. Only in that way will the last awaiting not frighten you with unexpectancy, nor will it hurl you into the night without day or into sorrow without joy. As everything else in the life of the Lord Jesus was a surprise for man, thus will be His Second Coming unexpected, in power and in glory. Unexpected was His birth by the All-holy Virgin, unexpected was His poverty, unexpected also was His miracle-working and every word and humiliation and voluntary death, the resurrection, the ascension, the Church and the spreading of His Faith. Unexpected will be His Second Coming, unexpectation more frightful than all other unexpectations.
O Lord, O righteous Judge, how will we meet You, unclad in purity and blameless even in peace? Help us, help us that however much as possible we may prepare for the dreadful encounter with You.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
Righteous Eudocimus of Cappadocia
He who called you from earth to heaven, keeps your body unharmed after death, holy Eudocimus; for you lived a sober and holy life and did not defile your flesh; so with boldness intercede with Christ that we may be saved.
Kontakion, Tone 3
Today your honored memory has assembled us at the holy shrine of your sacred relics; all then who approach and venerate them are rescued from the evil malice of demons and are swiftly delivered from various diseases, blessed Eudocimus.