A true friend is there for you when you need him. A true friend will sacrifice for you without wanting anything back. Out of his great love for you, he will want what is best for you and will want you to love him back as much as you can and will constantly think, “How can I show this person I love him and want him to love me too?” Such is the love God has for us: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). He loves us to the point of offering Himself as a sacrifice for our sins that we may turn back to Him and abide in Him and love Him back with all our hearts.
In the journey of Great Lent, we must always, our brothers and sisters, give thanks to the Lord for all blessings He has bestowed upon us,
especially the blessing of salvation, which He has woven into our lives for our own benefit.
Let us be thankful that the Lord has chosen us to be saved, and has given us knowledge of the path of salvation through the Holy Bible, Divine Liturgy, the teachings of our Church Fathers, the Holy Sacraments, and the love bestowed into our hearts through the sacrifice of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ. This immeasurable sacrifice is what we should use to fuel our desire to want to do everything we can to please the Lord. For, if your neighbor lends you money when you need it, do you not, out of love for your neighbor, want to pay him back, invite him to dinner, feed him, and tend to him? How much more than ought you want to please your Heavenly Father for sacrificing His Only-Begotten Son for your salvation? The Lord wants us to live and, in the sacrifice of Christ, we may see life. Let us be steadfast in faith and recognize how much sacrifice the Lord has done for us, that we may feel His love for us and share it with our brothers and sisters. If we open our hearts without enmity, guile, hate, or disgust towards others, we will truly see God everywhere we go and in everything we do. This is how He intended us to be: loving creatures made in His image and likeness. Let us humble ourselves from the inside and think of how God is constantly thinking of us and caring for us. Let us mimic this in our daily lives by thinking always of others and treating others with the knowledge of the Word of God. May He bless each and every one of you and grant you the joy of His Resurrection +
Therefore, my fellow brothers and sisters, let us keep the Word of the Lord always in our hearts, for God wants us to live and tells us “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Let us keep these words in our hearts and cultivate much fruit with which we can present to God. He gives us plenty of opportunity in which every day is a day we can take advantage of. It is never too late to experience God’s love and care for us. For even the thief on the right was saved! God will never turn His back on us, no matter what we do. We can experience His love, grace, blessings, and compassion for us in our lives by allowing Him in. Let us take advantage of the Great Lent season to look back and ask ourselves “Am I living the way I want to live, or the way God wants me to live?” “What fruit have I cultivated and presented to God today?” “He sacrificed for me for my own benefit, what have I done for Him?” We can use this time especially to reflect and use the Word of God to change our lives from a barren one to one full of fruits that truly please Him. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all and Glory be to God forever +
Author: Osama A.