"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The World Cannot Hate You

The world cannot hate you; but Me it hateth (John 7:7).

hy does the world hate Christ the Lord? The Lord Himself immediately explained this: Because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil (John 7:7). Men do not hate anyone as much as a witness to their sin. Because of this, the greatest misdeeds of the world are committed at night, in darkness. But does God not see at night, in darkness? In truth, God sees, but the evildoers do not see God. And even if some of them believe somewhat in God, they think, because of their own insufficient enlightenment, that darkness is a curtain between men and God. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself clearly revealed that God is all-seeing, and that no darkness prevents His eyes from seeing. He Himself saw men at a distance, such as Nathaniel under the fig tree. He saw a donkey with its colt in another village. His sight was not impeded by spatial distance. He foresaw the denial of Peter, the betrayal of Judas, His own death and Resurrection, the destruction of Jerusalem, the eternity of His Church, the suffering of His followers, and the events at the end of time. His sight was not impeded by the distance of time. But what more is there to enumerate? And what is more hidden than the hearts of men? Is not the heart hidden by the thick curtain of the body? Are not the thoughts in the heart more hidden than the heart itself? Nevertheless, He penetrated the darkness of men's hearts and read their thoughts there: Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? (Matthew 9:4). Brethren, it is no wonder that all those who thought or committed evil were afraid of such a witness. Is it a wonder, then, that the evildoers hated Him?

The world cannot hate you. Whom? All of you who participate in the evil of the world and who, because of your participation, dare not witness against the world. How can those who fear men witness against men? How can those who seek the glory of men bring the condemnation of men against themselves?

O my brethren, it is better for us if the world hates us, and Christ loves us-than if the whole world loves us and glorifies us, and Christ turns His face from us, saying: I know you not. If the world hates us, let us be comforted by the words of the Savior: If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you (John 15:18).

O Blessed Lord, the Source of all blessings, strengthen our hearts, that we may not be frightened when the world hates us. Only bless and love us, O Good Savior. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
Bishop Nikolai Velimirović,  The Prologue From Ochrid: Lives of the Saints and Homilies for Every Day of the Year (Birmingham: Lazarica Press, 1986) Vol. 3, September 13, pp. 326-327.

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