Who Are You – Who Called You – Who You Should Be

7 May 2018

Fatherly Exhortations to Students, Graduates and Clergymen

You are human, the most beloved creature of God. The creature that God ordained to live forever. No other creature was destined to live forever.

You did not choose the path of God. You chose your own path, the path of disobedience. That is why you were exiled on earth.

Yet, God loved you so, that He became man. The God-Man. Who is both God and man. He died on the cross like a man for you. He descended into Hades. He defeated death. He completely shattered the very core of death. Christ rose from the dead in order to resurrect you. To grant you eternal life once more.

This God, the God-Man Christ, called you. He called you to study in our Theological Academy. He called you to the priesthood. He may have even called you to the hierarchy of the Church. He called you to save you. To lead to salvation His friends. His siblings. All those who He called you to serve.

The God-Man Christ called you to be a good servant. A true deacon of the mysteries of God. He does not promise riches. He promises neither luxury nor thrones. He only promises eternity through the narrow gate and difficult way.

You heard His voice. You answered His call. You came to our Theological Academy. You completed your studies. You graduated. You must now continue on your path.

In order to succeed with what God has called you for, who should you be? I do not want to answer this question myself. I feel neither competent nor apt to do so. Im so insignificant. I am a midget. I leave this task to the giant. The Apostle Paul, who expresses the God-Man Christ better than anyone. The Apostle will tell you, as he told his student, Timothy. Listen to him. The Apostle said to Timothy as follows.

“Timothy, my son, let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”

Listen carefully, dear graduate of the Patriarchal Orthodox Theological Academy of Toronto. When the Apostle Paul wrote these words, Timothy was perhaps even younger than you are now. He was however a Presbyter, a Priest, and probably a Bishop, because the term Presbyter at that time included both the orders of priest and bishop.

You do not have time to waste. Time is your most precious commodity. Every instant which comes and goes, cannot be relived. Either you made the best use of it or it is lost forever.

The God-Man Christ called you. You made a good start. And today you receive your degree. Many congratulations are in order. But do not stop here. Carry out the will of Christ, the God-Man Who called you, until the very end. I expect to see you as a member of the clergy, as a close collaborator of our Church in Canada. May we meet and cooperate in the best possible way as clergymen on this earth. May we also meet again, at our common resurrection, and in the eternal life of the age to come.