Joyful living according to the Will of God
If we focus only on the things that haven’t been done and ignore the little things that bring joy to our lives, we will find ourselves in a rut, constantly thinking of where we’d rather be living, or the job we’d rather have, or the project that still needs to be completed. Then we’ll wake up one day and realize all we’ve needed for happiness has been right in front of us all the time. Keeping our lives focused on joyful living in the presence of God, we don’t fret about anything, but rejoice in all that comes our way. Living according to the will of God brings us joy, and nothing causes us stress or disappointment.
How do we know we are living according to the will of God? We make sure we live a life that is focused on Christ, and not let the transitory things rule, for we know a life centered in Christ brings about true peace, wisdom, knowledge, and joy. In focusing on Christ, we are given the grace to trust in God’s Divine Providence for everything, and whatever comes our way is received as a gift from God.
How do we know we’re living according to the will of God? The Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica tells us, “He who lives according to God’s will has no worries. When he needs something, he simply prays for it. If he does not receive that which he asked for, he is joyful as though he had received it. A soul that has given itself over to God has no fear of anything, not even robbers, sickness, or death. Whatever happens, such a soul always cries, ‘It was the will of God’.”
Saint Seraphim of Sarov was so filled with this joy, he greeted all who came to him with a prostration, a kiss, and the words of the Paschal greeting: “Christ is Risen!” He called everyone, “my joy.” So we, like this beloved saint, can live our lives in the Paschal moment, forever shouting out the Paschal greeting with the joy we feel during the Paschal service itself. And in Christ, our joyful countenance will express to all around us, “Joy to the World”, for Christ has come down from heaven, and into our midst, and we are restored to our inheritance.
With love in Christ,
Thursday February 1, 2018 / January 19, 2018
Week of the Publican and the Pharisee. Tone one.
Fast-free Week. Fast-free
Venerable Macarius the Great of Egypt (390).
St. Mark, archbishop of Ephesus (1444).
Blessed Theodore of Novgorod, fool-for-Christ (1392).
Venerable Macarius the Roman of Novgorod (1550).
New Hieromartyr Peter priest (1918).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1930).
Martyr Theodore (1940).
Venerable Macarius of the Kiev Caves (12th c.).
Venerable Macarius, deacon of the Kiev Caves (13th-l4th c.).
Opening of the relics of Venerable Sabbas of Storozhev or Zvenigorod (1652).
Virgin-martyr Euphrasia of Nicomedia (303).
Venerable Macarius of Alexandria (394).
Venerable Anton the Stylite of Martqophi, Georgia (6th c.) (Georgia).
St. Arsenius, archbishop of Kerkyra (Corfu) (953).
Venerable Euthymius, confessor (20th c.) (Georgia).
St. Branwalader (Breward) of Cornwall and the Channel Islands (6th c.) (Celtic & British).
St. Fillan (Foelan) of Strathfillan (VIII) (Celtic & British).
Venerable Meletius, confessor of Mt. Galesion, monk (1286) (Greek).
Translation of the relics (950) of St. Gregory the Theologian (389).
Martyr Anthony Rawah the Qpraisite (8th c.).
The enthronement of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
The Scripture Readings
1 John 1:8-2:6
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
2 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
The Test of Knowing Him
3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
No One Knows the Day or Hour
32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”
The Plot to Kill Jesus
14 After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death. 2 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people.”