Christian Morals, as they Emerge from the Incarnation of Logos – 328 December 2013
Let us now look at some aspects of the life of Christ which we are called upon to imitate. Our Lord spoke to us of Satan’s total inability to acquire any sort of authority over Him: “The ruler of this world is coming, and he has no place in me” (Jn. 14, 30); and again: “Take courage, I have defeated the world” (Jn. 16, 33); and: “Behold, I give you the authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions and on all the power of the enemy” (Luke, 10, 19).
Something of the same kind happens to us, too, when we live in Christ. Satan, who once had us in thrall and under his thumb now has no place within us, and so we can say, with David, “The swords of the enemy have failed utterly” (Ps. 9, 6). And if we ever falter because of the violence of the assault of the passions and of sin, Christ strengthens us, saying: “Take courage, I have defeated the world” and “Call upon me on the day of affliction and I will deliver you”. And when the shameless mania of the enemy persists in striking, He reminds us He has given us the power, not merely to resist, but also to “tread upon serpents and scorpions and on all the power of the enemy”. As we mentioned above, this is achieved when we “put on” Christ at our baptism, when Christ enters our hearts and banishes evil. The tyrannical power of evil, which formerly coerced people and stifled their freedom, now has no authority over them, because it lies within us to obey, to follow or to refuse.
The faithful who have “put on” Christ, have the chance to discern, to decide and to resist, repulsing the enemy, irrespective of the manner in which he has concealed himself. Christ’s own example to us, when He fasted and struggled in the desert, is the brightly-lit course set for us through the stormy sea of life. It was for us that He undertook this struggle in the desert. This is why each of us, empowered by His grace, can say with Him: “Get behind me, Satan. I venerate my God and Him alone will I worship” (cf. Matth. 4, 10).
So our innate disposition towards imitation finds a model in the Lord. Our vigour has His grace for an ally. As regards our personalities which have been fractured by the fall into sin, He has left us His peace, which unites what has been sundered: “I leave you peace, I give you my peace” (Jn. 14, 27). As regards the uncertainty of time and the fluctuations of our lives, He has promised to be with us until the completion of the age (Matth. 28, 20). As regards our concern that we are few compared to the multitudes who do not follow Him, He encourages us, saying: “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Lk.12, 32).
As regards our complaint, that others always hate and plot against us Christians, He consoles us, saying: “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account” (Matth. 5, 11). He also reminds us that bodily danger is not what really matters, because there is always the immortal soul. Do not fear those, He says, who would kill your body, because they cannot kill the soul (Matth. 10, 28). Finally, He gave us the glad tidings, the anchor of the faith of us all: “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven” (Matth. 5, 12).[Το Βe Continued]