Homily for the Tenth Sunday of Matthew – A Faithless and Perverse Generation (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

Today’s Gospel studying refers back to the therapeutic of the moonstruck younger man by Christ. To the phrases of this younger man’s father that His disciples couldn’t heal him, Christ replied: “O faithless and perverse technology!” (Matthew 17:17). With this phrase, Christ connects unbelief with perversion, and by extension religion with the correctness of morals and life.Indeed, religion could be very carefully linked with the entire lifetime of man. When one believes in God and adapts to this example, then each his morals and his social conduct generally are in the precise route. It isn’t potential for one to consider in God, to just accept His educating, to think about Him as one’s creator, who loves Him, to consider that Christ grew to become a person with a view to save him, to learn Holy Scripture, and to not be permeated in a single’s life from the gospel phrase. It isn’t potential for somebody to really feel God’s love and but not reply to this love and never love each God and other people. Always, what dominates the mind and coronary heart house of the individual can be expressed externally. If, nevertheless, an individual says that he believes in God, however this doesn’t have an effect on his conduct and exterior conduct, because of this his religion is anemic, it’s powerless.

In the Dogmatics of the Church, there may be discuss concerning the relationship between dogma and ethics, or quite between the educating of the Church, as expressed within the Ecumenical Synods by the Fathers, and ethics, of asceticism. Dogma is theoria and asceticism is praxis. Neither theoria with out praxis may be efficient, nor can praxis with out theoria save man. Saint Maximus the Confessor teaches that religion with out works is fantasy and works with out religion is idolatry. This can be stated by James the Brother of the Lord, when he teaches that “religion with out works is lifeless” (James 2:20).

If this occurs between religion and works, it actually occurs between unbelief and perversion. Whoever doesn’t consider in God and has no reference to Him, and, subsequently, depends on himself and his passions, it follows that they may have perverted morals. When the mental a part of his soul doesn’t perform correctly, then additionally the passionate a part of the soul, that’s, the incensive and needing, are affected by the passions and that’s the reason nice crimes are dedicated. Unbelief is linked with the perversion of morals.

Of course, the phrases of Christ that we noticed in right now’s Gospel studying, “O faithless and perverse technology!”, didn’t confer with unbelief, atheism, however to the dearth of religion from theoria (imaginative and prescient), which religion is superior to religion from listening to. Therefore, religion from what we hear about God is one factor and religion from seeing God is one other. Thus, when one reaches the theoria of the glory of God, then all of the powers of the soul and physique are remodeled, in order that man can’t be influenced by demonic actions. This man is known as deified.

However, these phrases of Christ are additionally legitimate for the folks of our time, for all of us. We converse of a disaster in our time and restrict it to financial, cultural, social and household points. However, the disaster is religious and theological. Many folks of our time have moved away from God and the educating of Christ, they do not pray, they do not go to church, they do not learn Holy Scripture, the books of the Fathers and the lives of the Saints. They don’t depend on God, however on themselves and their passions. Even after they theologize, exterior the ecclesiastical, patristic custom, they achieve this by means of their passions and provide their very own “theology of passions”. The disaster comes from the perversion of morals and that is brought on by unbelief or atheism and hypocritical religion. Man’s return to Christ and His Church provides religion and transforms morals.

Christ stated to His disciples who requested Him why they might not forged out the demon, amongst different issues, the next: “This sort isn’t forged out besides by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21). Christ forged out the demon with the ability of His divinity, the disciples might forged it out with the ability of Christ, however they may be capable of do it after they pray and quick.

In this reply of Christ, the nice worth of prayer and fasting may be seen. It isn’t about autonomous virtues, however about human actions which are performed by the Grace of God and provide man nice vitality, since then man turns into a sharer of Christ’s items.

Prayer is reward, thanksgiving, confession and supplication to God, it’s an providing of all of the powers and energies of the human soul to God and, after all, it’s a sharing of divine Grace. Through prayer, the human soul is healed, primarily the noetic a part of the soul after which all its different energies, such because the mental, incensive and needing. It is a couple of transformation of the internal world of man, a restoration to its authentic state. Because all these powers of the soul from the start had been created to have a route and impulse in the direction of God, however with sin they misplaced this authentic objective and turned in the direction of creation. Now with prayer this example is restored.

Fasting is the liberation of bodily energies from enslavement to creation. Just as there are psychic passions (delight, egoism, self-importance, and so forth.), so there are bodily passions (gluttony, greed, avarice, and so forth.). Physical passions present the enslavement of man to creation, to materials items. Thus, fasting manifests man’s need and energy, with the Grace of God, to launch himself from this dependence and return the physique to its authentic state, because it was created by God.

The Christian fasts as a result of he needs to achieve unity with Christ, to draw His Grace, to be remodeled by the Grace of God. Thus, man with Christ-like prayer and fasting is illumined, shines, is remodeled psychically and bodily, and thus expels the satan and his energies, which satan is a darkish spirit and darkens those that are related to him.

If we would like the nous, the soul and the physique to be illumined, and to rework our complete existence, to be free of all psychic and bodily dependence, we should pray and quick, with all of the theological perspective that our Church units, after which we won’t be counted among the many faithless and perverse technology.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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