The summer is slipping away! Most of you have probably forgotten about it already, but here in Thessaloniki classes begin quite late. Undergrads have a 1 month long exam period (usually all of September), and then they begin classes in the beginning of October. Masters' students begin in the beginning of November! I'm taking a 1 month intensive language program just to freshen up the Greek before classes start. It is a wonderful class. Our teacher is very well-educated, and the class is focused on building conversational skills and written skill at a higher (more academic) level. We discuss politics, culture, and ethics and write corresponding essays almost everyday. If anyone wants to learn a language, IMMERSE YOURSELF!
Just wanted to share the following homily from today's prologue reading. The scriptural pericope that St. Nikolai discusses, seems to get taken out of context often by various groups/people to give an escapist orientation to our goal as Christians (i.e. our goal is to escape from this evil world into the NEXT world). Anyway, enjoy:
My Kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).
"He who has great wealth also has little wealth. Therefore, let no one think that Christ the Lord does not have royal authority over this world, even though He told Pilate: My Kingdom is not of this world. He who possesses the eternal also rules over the temporal. Here, the Lord speaks of His Eternal Kingdom, independent of time, decay, injustice, illusion and death. It is as if someone were to say: ``My wealth is not in paper but rather in gold.'' If he has gold, can he not afford paper? Is not gold worth more than paper? Therefore, the Lord does not tell Pilate that He is a king, but on the contrary says that He is a higher King than all earthly kings, and that His Kingdom is greater, more powerful and more enduring than all earthly kingdoms. He is indicating His principal Kingdom, upon which all earthly kingdoms depend, in time and in space. My Kingdom is not of this world. This does not mean that He has no power over this world, but on the contrary confirms His awesome power over this world. All His works on earth manifest His unparalleled, lordly power over the world. Tell me, in what other king's presence is the wind quieted and the sea calmed? And have you forgotten His words in Gethsemane? Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:53). And just one angel has greater power than all the universe! The Lord of the soul is also the Lord of the body. The Lord of eternity is also the Lord of time. The Lord of the greatest good is also the Lord of the lesser good. Brethren, nothing can escape the power of the Almighty Jesus Christ our Lord, Who by His own will suffered for us, and by His own power rose from the grave.
O Lord Jesus Christ, our Almighty Savior, help us to seek Thy Heavenly Kingdom, and to be eternally with Thee where there is neither sin nor death, but life and joy and peace.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen." (Prolog of Saints, St. Nikolai Velimirovic, September 30)