Avoid profane and vain babblings.

Life is short.

Treat each day as your last, and you will never sin.

1 Timothy 6:17-20

Nov 27/ Dec 10  27th Thursday after Pentecost



Brothers and sisters, contemporary wisdom tells us that "life is short," and so we should enjoy ourselves, take up a challenge, or make a difference in the world. We should not waste the little time that we have.


Likewise, the holy fathers tell us that each day could be our last, and that we should therefore "redeem the time, because the days are evil." Or, as one of the desert fathers said, "Treat each day as your last, and you will never sin."


Life is short, but what does this mean? The world tells us that we should enjoy each minute, entertaining ourselves, seeking new experiences and challenges, making the most of the time that we have, because this life is all that there is.


The Lord tells us, on the other hand, that the short time of this life is given to us as preparation for eternal life beyond the grave. Time spent in amusements, "experiences," and even in great accomplishments that improve our life here on earth, is ultimately a waste of our time if we are not preparing our souls for eternity.


Rather than experiences and worldly accomplishments, we should spend our time perfecting the Image of God -- an Image of selfless, sacrificial love -- in ourselves and in our lives.


The old man does not understand this. When the Lord told his disciples about the resurrection, they did not understand. Even after the resurrection, only few understand this truth. And so we occupy ourselves with vanities.


St. Paul enjoins St. Timothy to


"Avoid profane and vain babblings, and the oppositions of knowledge falsely so called."


Worldly knowledge is ultimately useless, for the world will pass away. And knowledge based on reason and logic is ultimately untrustworthy, for our fallen reason is capable of proving anything that our fallen heart and will desire to believe.

Let us heed the words of the Lord, and let the world follow its own course. Let us be, as the Apostle enjoins, "in the world but not of the world."


Reader Nicholas Park  2009.     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas


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