CALLED TO BECOME SAINTS
“To the saints which are at Ephesus” (Eph. 1:1).
Orthodox Christians of all ages are saints and are addressed by St. Paul as “the saints”, in fact all Christians even to this day are referred to as saints. An example is in every Divine Liturgy we hear the priest summoning us saying: “The holy things for the holy”. (Note: The original Greek is “Ta aghia tees agois” which is properly translated: “the holy things for the saints.”)
Holy Communion is not simply bread and wine, though it may appear and taste as such, but is the true body and blood of the Godman Jesus Christ, who speaking of this mystery to His Apostles said: “Take. eat. this is my body and drink this is my blood.” Only those who are worthy should partake of this mystery, for without repentance and living a Christian life they are forbidden an dangerous to our souls.
Divine Liturgy on Sunday alone is not the only way into the kingdom of heaven, for we are required to make a complete change in our lives, which means to rid ourselves of every sin and vice and acquire every divine virtue, and for this reason we are called saints. The vices of pride and boasting are deadly; we need to acquire humility and humblemindedness. Unreasonable anger and furiousness are poisonous; meekness and gentleness kust be acquired being the only way. Vileness is of the devil and is dangerous and must be replaced by holiness which is necessary and excludes all evil. All injustices, such as lying and stealing are deadly sins, for we must embrace justice and honesty avoiding all forms of evil. Holiness excludes all evil thoughts, desires and action.
We are called to become saints which is entirely voluntary for it is our freedom to accept or reject as we desire. But the penalty for not becoming saints is everlasting torment and the reward is the kingdom of heaven in the life which is to come. The importance of becoming saints should be a priority in conducting our lives, and is the only answer to those who are searching for true happiness. Happiness is being in the arms of God who will guide those who desire into life that never ends.
It is our calling to embrace what is wonderful and beautiful for we are not called to do something too difficult but normal if we are rightly disposed. We should hate all evil and do no evil to anyone and we do not want evil done to us. We do not like dishonesty nor should we be dishonest but truthful and sincere with everyone. If we found ourselves in need we would greatly appreciate any help that is given to us. So we must be generous to those are in need, and not live luxuriously and disregard them.
When men keep the commandments of God, then earth will become heavenly and delightful to all men. All evil will disappear, nor will wars exist as men keep the commandments, for then peace and happiness will be everywhere. Men will seek to help and encourage each other and will live in continuous joy.