To Become the Children of Light

By Fr. George Glinski

The end does not come when a person dies. We hear God talking to us through the pages of The Gospel and saying that there is a backside of death and resurrection, which is the Judgement of God. And this Judgement is not something external for us. It will be rather the judgement during which we will judge ourselves. As St. John Chrysostom said, everyone will see a reflection of the person they were supposed to become according to God’s providence, the same way we see our reflection in a mirror. A bishop will see a worthy bishop; a priest will see a worthy priest; a layman will see a worthy layman. It means that our inner self, our own nature will denounce us. This is the most terrifying judgement because our deeds, words, thoughts, feelings, our way of life and views – the most important parts of our being – will rebel against us. But we hear from the Savior that this will happen only if we do not change ourselves. This is why the Lord reminds us that the Judgement of God is not the judgement we are used to, when affronted dignity rules, facts are manipulated and witnesses lie, because they have their own interests. This judgement is reigned by love. Love does not seek its own (1 Corinthians 13:4). And in this sense it cannot be dreadful because the Lord is not our accuser, but He is rather our advocate. He is the One, Who will seek at least one beam of light in us and to show with its help that we are not so bad.

However, we should stop behaving like little children and learn how to take responsibility for our actions. The sense of responsibility, love and gratitude towards God for that He has created us, should move us forward and bring us to the main thing, which is changing our life. The Lord tells us about the judgement not because He wants to scare us, but in  order to move us and make us work on ourselves. The essence of spiritual life lies within inner changes. What is more, the sense of the Kingdom of Heaven as aspiration to God and growing in love and kindness is the desire to move forward. 

This is why if we create a foundation for such relationships in this life – and this is exactly what we have to do – then the Kingdom of Heaven becomes something natural for us, because it will be inside of us and become a part of us. And then, as St. Simeon the New Theologian said, those who have become the children of light will never see this terrifying day of the Lord, because they are in God and live with Him. At the same time, Blessed Augustine tells us that we should remember about two thieves crucified with Christ. On one hand, we should not despair, because one of the thieves has confessed, which means that he has changed his attitude to life, although it was the last moment of his life. On the other hand, we should not weaken, because we know that what happened to the second thief was completely different.

May the Lord help us with His grace and the power of His Resurrection so that we can change our life. So that we do not construct our life in a way that we hope to catch the last train. Instead we need to live not for ourselves but for Christ and for other people. When we meet people, we should see the image of God in them, although this image can be dimmed and corrupted by sin. Following Christ's example, we should learn to see the beam of light that tells us about the Kingdom of Heaven, which will come in its power with Christ. As St. John the Theologian said: Even so, come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20). 

St. Elisabeth Convent 
August 21, 2017