(Luke. 17, 12-19)
The Lord is beneficial to all
Can anyone say that he doesn’t suffer? That he doesn’t feel pain in this world? Which human being doesn’t feel as though his life is more or less martyrdom? Man chose the life of sin, which choice resulted in pain, sickness, suffering, and eventually death. But God, who does not want to chastise anyone, transforms all of this into salvation. Through these very things, man is helped to come back to his senses.
Even though the Lord foreknows that the nine lepers after being healed will not remember to thank him, he acts as God: He is beneficial to all. However, only one finds the road: “He turned back and with a loud voice praised God”. Clearly, even when he was suffering and now when he is healed, he remembers God, and runs to him. As a rule, those who act correctly are few. The many when tormented think only of their problem, and because of this, they complain and even raise their sufferings to God. But even after, when their troubles have passed, they don’t remember him.
The issue is what happens inside the heart of man. Whether you suffer externally or not, when deep in your heart you seek, love, and desire God, he will orchestrate things in such a way that you will eventually find yourself on the road of salvation. This will come about whether you are in pain or are healed. We shouldn’t expect first to surpass or succeed in something and only later to turn to God in order to thank Him. This is a mistake. This very moment, whatever is happening to you, worship, seek, and love God, deep in your heart. Judge yourself, even if you don’t feel like you’re to blame. Glorify God, who continues to bless your life, so that your soul is able to do that which it hasn’t done up until this hour: to become humble, to seek forgiveness, to follow him, to live in God.
Transcribed talks by Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos
From: Holy Hesychasterion “The Nativity of Theotokos” Publications.