Updated: Jul 20, 2020
Why do you think we are distant from our brother, from our sister or from our fellow people? Why do you think this happens or maybe if I could put it in another way; how do you think we can fix this?
Both questions have one answer.
Love or lack of love.
Correct. When someone is baptised, we chant: “those who have been baptised in Christ, have put on Christ, alleluia”. When someone is baptised we believe that he becomes united with Christ. But putting on Christ could also be a literal mystical experience. Something we can experience spiritually in a similar way that the prodigal son came to himself, as we said before. So putting on Christ is like becoming One with Christ while you pray, when you seek God’s help, when you establish a connection with Him. Imagine someone giving their blood for Christ like the Holy Martyrs.
Let use the first Martyr and Archdeacon Stephan as an example. Just before they stoned him to death, he had a spiritual experience: The heavens were opened and he saw the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7.56). General Makriyiannis who fought in the Greek war of independence, 1821, in his book
“Wonders and Visions”, his spiritual autobiography, describes a similar spiritual experience he himself had.
There is a deep meaning in this. St Stephan, by giving up his life for Christ, he became One with Him. The Son of Man that he saw at the right hand of God was Christ, but it was also himself, being One with Christ as we said. He basically saw the reward for his sacrifice. This is what it is to put on Christ.
When Jesus says that the Son of Man will sit at the right hand of the Father this means that the human nature will sit at the right hand of the Father. This means that we humans will be united with God and we will sit with God in God’s Throne. If someone becomes Godlike, he becomes One with Jesus and One with God in himself. When Jesus was incarnated He did not receive someone’s personality but He received in Himself the whole humankind. When we say we become One with Christ, it means that in our existence, by becoming One with Christ, we also become One with everyone.
Then there is no ontological distance between me and my brother and there is no difficulty in understanding that the other is part of me and there is no difficulty sacrificing myself for my brother and there is no such thing as love your enemies because there are no enemies.
When Christ says love your enemies, He was talking about the people that He
gave His life for and these were not strangers. These were parts of Himself. That’s why when we say the Jesus Prayer: “Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me”, we don’t pray for ourselves alone but we pray for everyone through this union with Christ. This “me” includes all the people that have died, all the people that are alive and all the people that will come into life even after we pass away and until the end of the ages. This is why there is no distance between myself and my brother. This also is how we make this distance disappear. By becoming One with Christ. One with everyone Christlike.