8th Sunday of St Luke The Good Samaritan

(Luke 10:25-37)
His Eminence
Metropolitan Panteleimon of Antinoes

A certain man was traveling from Jerusalem to the city of Jericho. He was a peaceful and hard working man, who was struggling for his daily bread and caring about his family. On his way, he suddenly fell into the hands of thieves. What can anyone expect to follow? They stripped him of whatever he had, they mistreated him with cruelty, they wounded him and abandoned him in the midst of the desert, lying down in his own blood and half dead without any help.  
In today’s Holy Gospel reading our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Son of God, gives us the example of the suffering man, who fell in the hands of evil thieves. He was stripped from every good thing that he possessed. He is the man, who departed from the sacred law of God and was abandoning the holy city of God, Jerusalem, in order to go to the city of sin, Jericho. Thus, he brought upon himself the sufferings which he endured.
The priest and the Levite, although, are close to the scene and they have seen what had had happened, yet, they do nothing! They do not want even to look upon the man and they leave him and depart in a hurry! They flee from the crime scene! They flee from their duty! This is what many typical religious people do today: They, who suppose to be religious, are in reality only typically. They are those people who, through religion, seek worldly glory from men, instead of seeking the glory which is offered by God. They live not according to the Orthodox Christian Faith and virtues, but in accordance of their own vain glory, self-love and self-satisfaction.
Today, how many times we see the sufferings of our fellow man? How many times we hear the sigh and we notice the tears of the ones who are in pain and suffering, and we abandoned them, saying: “I have no time for them”, in order that we do not miss our pressure and valuable time!  Or, in order that we won’t spend few of our money! Or, in order that we might not get tired and suffer for the sake of our fellow man! Thus, we depart from the crime scene and do not perform our good and righteous duty.


Talking with a barber about God...

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation and talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: “I don’t believe that God exists.” 

“Why do you say that?” asked the customer.

“Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn’t exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can’t imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things.” 

The customer thought for a moment, but didn’t respond because he didn’t want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt. The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: “You know what? Barbers do not exist.” 

“How can you say that?” asked the surprised barber.

“I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!”

“No!” the customer exclaimed. “Barbers don’t exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside.

“Ah, but barbers do exist! That’s what happens when people do not come to me.”

“Exactly!” affirmed the customer. “That’s the point! God, too, does exist! Because people do not look to God for help is why there’s so much pain and suffering in the world.”


Two Men in a Hospital

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. 
And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. 
One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days and weeks passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly and painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. 
The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. 
The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.” 

Epilogue. . . There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can’t buy. 
“Today is a gift, that’s why it is called the present.”


Wise answers of Monk Simeon of Mt. Athos

Wise answers of Monk Simeon of Mt. Athos

Which teacher is the best? Suffering.
Which teacher is the worst? Pleasure.
What is the most rare skill? Ability to give.
What is the best skill? The ability to forgive.
What is the most difficult skill? The ability to keep quiet.
What is the most important skill? The ability to ask.
What is the right skill? -The ability to listen.
What is the most dangerous fight? Fanatical.
What is the most harmful habit? Talkativeness.
Which person is the strongest? He who is capable of comprehending the truth.
Which person is the weakest? He who considers himself the strongest.
What kind of person is the most sensible? He who watches his heart.
What is the most dangerous attachment? Attachment to your body.
Which man is the poorest? The one who loves money most.
Which man is closer to God? Merciful.
Which person is the weakest? The winner of others.
Which person is the strongest? The winner of himself.
What to resist trouble? With joy.
How to withstand suffering? With patience.
What is the sign of a healthy soul? Faith.
What is the symptom of a sick soul? Hopelessness.
What is the sign of wrong actions? Irritation.
What is the sign of good deeds? The world of the soul.