The Night is Coming when No-One can Work

15 May 2018

In the period after Easter, when the services in the Pentecostarion are celebrated, we read the Gospel according to Saint John on Sundays. Essentially, the Evangelist quotes a miracle/cure performed by Jesus and, either before or after, gives his theological interpretation of it. Thus, in the case of the healing of the man who was blind from birth, Saint John refers to the importance of day, of light.

The Lord reveals Himself as ‘the Light of the World’ and that He’s labouring to perform ‘the works of Him Who sent Him’ while it’s still daytime. Because Christ said that He’s doing the work of ‘Him Who sent Him’. If we Christians are to be loyal to our Lord, then we, too, must perform the works of God: that is, works for our own salvation and that of the world. Not in the specific sense of mission or clerical service, but the essential task which each of us has to carry out in our life as a command from God. ‘the night is coming when no-one can work’.

Secularization of Christians lies in the fact that we’ve been led astray by the way of life that’s been imposed on us. We’ve accepted it because it satisfies our self-esteem. We live as though our life wasn’t going to end one day. This is why, inevitably, our tasks are replaced by trivia, the essential is hidden by the superficial and the fleeting overrides the eternal.

My criticism isn’t aimed at condemnation; merely at pointing out what it is that we’re losing irrevocably.

• According to Saint Maximos the Confessor, when I pray formally, I lose my personal relationship with Christ, Who loves and is loved as a person.
• When I give free rein to my passions, I lose my ‘good boldness’ before God.
• When I go to church not from need but from duty, I lose my inner peace.
• When I work hard, with no days off or holidays, I lose the joy of working and relaxing.
• When I break contact with people I care for and old friends, I lose the beauty of life.
• When I don’t express my feelings, I lose freedom and fulfilment as a person.

Of course, other things could also be mentioned, but, again, they wouldn’t define the life that’s been granted to us as a gift and which we’re called upon to make an effort to live. If we look calmly and simply within ourselves, each of us will discover what God has entrusted us with, which we’re called to work upon, so that we can live real life, which knows no death as its end. To achieve this, it’s not so much strength that’s required as will, desire, and boldness.

Each of us separately, and together as the Church, are called upon to do the work in us with which the Lord has entrusted us, so that we may become like Him, light in a world which is stumbling and wants to be illumined. Let us work now, while we’re alive, because ‘the night is coming when no-one can work’.