Protopresbyter Dr. Georgios Lekkas of the Orthodox Diocese of Belgium
No man can create in us deeper feelings of love than the God-man Jesus, because no man has the divine humility of the God-man Jesus.
Each of us arouses feelings of love in others according to the degree of our humility. The humble man attracts us and we love him, while the proud man repels us because we fear him.
The humble man allows himself to be subjugated, unlike the proud man, who does not rest until he has subjugated us. Thus in the humble man we love his desire to yield, whereas in the proud man we fear his desire for mastery over us.
When we love the humble man, without realizing it we slowly begin to resemble him, whereas in order to protect ourselves from the proud man’s desire for mastery over us we usually resist him to such an extent that we risk becoming even worse than him.
The humble man wins us over because we do not have to resist him at all, whereas we usually perceive our resistance to the proud man’s wish to subjugate us as necessary for our own survival.
Thus humility makes possible a community of selfless love, where each person permits everyone and everything to find a place within themself, whereas pride creates conditions of conflict which endure until one individual prevails, who wishes to live at the expense of everyone else.
In the face of the ineffable humility of God, who became a humble human being for the salvation of all mankind, the mind grows faint and the heart is maddened with love. The humble love of Christ seems to wait for each of us patiently, imprisoned in the depths of our own Hell until we open ourselves to its saving power.
Our repentance opens the prison of our heart to release the humble love of Christ that has endured a long imprisonment within us. Only in repentance does man become his true self, because repentance is a recognition of the abyss that separates us from the humble and divine love of God who loves mankind. Our repentance brings about an explosion of divine love, love spurs us to even deeper repentance, a repentance that brings greater love, a love that sustains another repentance, and so on without end, until a person becomes nothing but love.
When a man is enflamed by Christ’s humble love, he wishes to destroy every trace of pride within himself, including even resistance to the proud man’s desire for mastery. Thus the opening of divine humility within us creates a willingness to be devoured by wild beasts, which is the only way to break the vicious circle of ever-growing iniquity.
Whoever loves Christ does not even fear to die, because thanks to Christ each person’s death can yet be a victory over Death itself.
Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee, 5.2.2023.