That Self-revealing of God has effects upon the world that surpass those of all scientific discoveries, revolutions, inventions, philosophies of all ages combined, which have always been foolishly idolatrized by mankind.
However, the celebration of Theophany remains a mere annual curiosity in so many once Christian nations, including orthodox Romania and secular Britain. Few people, including so-called Christians, understand the meaning of the Feast.
Outside the Christian world (made up of only One (Orthodox) Church + a myriad of heterodox beliefs) people keep hating and mocking Christ, like Herod did when He was born or like the Romans and Jews did when crucifying Him.
If they were just unbelievers (agnostics), maybe their sin was of a lesser kind (forgivable), but proclaiming themselves atheists (at war with their Maker), they are completely unscientific, as no one has ever scientifically proven the inexistence of God.
Moreover, they declare themselves to be at war with Him. They want Him out of everything His, unaware that the more they fight an inexistant God, the more they prove the opposite. That’s because all demons inspiring atheist ideologies know that HE IS.
But that’s outside the shrinking Christian world. Inside it, there are other devilish traps meant to dilute the faith, at work since the days of the Apostles, then shredding Christianity after 1054 and up to these very days.
In a world soaking with hedonism, Christ appears as ‘relative un-ascetic Christians’ would like Him to be, as they caricaturize Him, in the weirdest of circumstances. The world is disfigured, living under the spell of ‘I-do-what-I-want’, therefore it disfigures Christ.
People so unlike the angel-man John the Baptist suddenly claim to have ‘seen Him’, and such apparitions are deemed newsworthy by The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph. Sometimes, such news quickly travel around the world.
A Brit girl saw the Face of Jesus in her chewing gum, a banker claims to have been saved by a divine intervention, with Jesus appearing in his frying pan, a so-called church advertises itself with the Lord’s Face drawn on a beer glass.
One man from Southampton is sure that an image taken by Google Earth over a field in Hungary shows Jesus, a woman and her unlawfully wedded (they were in a concubinage) partner said they saw Him in a baby scan, next to their son sucking his finger.
A (probably quite wacky) American community saw Him crucified on a telephone pole, a couple could swear it’s Him on the door toilet of an IKEA outlet in Glasgow, while a family in Hertsfordshire recognized Him on a flaming log in the fire place.
And the list of (surreal, psychotic?!) ‘apparitions’ could go on an on. Thus, relative Christians of all denominations feel that they are refreshing their faith, while atheists have another round of laughter. Both sides are satisfied :-(
According to the teachings of His One Church, ascetics trying to live like their role model John the Baptist rarely see Him in their lifetime, then how come ordinary people, especially in a secular society like the British one, suddenly ‘see’ Him?
Are these ‘apparitions’ somehow changing the lives of these people, like in the very few cases when some future saints saw our Saviour or the Theotokos, and completely changed their lives from that moment onwards?
Maybe no more than one man or one woman in half a million is drawn by a monastic life. God only knows how many of those called are eventually chosen – not by blind fate, but by their own toil as well – to become true ascetics.
Few are those whose hearts get purified, so that there are worthy of seeing His Holy Face? It’s very likely that as few people as one human being in a billion (out of all billions that have lived!) have ever seen Him during their lives on Earth.
Yet in the contemporary world, so disfigured by sin, so away from Him and so astray from His commandments, seeing Him appears to have become a cheap curiosity. ‘Apparitions’ are so at hand these days, like going to supermarkets or switching on the TV.
Actually, seeing Him is something for which John the Baptist would have lived a hundred years in the desert or would have had his head cut a hundred times. And still there’s no price any human being could pay for this priceless gift.
So full of our petty ourselves, most of us remain unable to understand John the Baptist’s words “My joy is now full. He must increase and I must decrease.” Blessed be those extremely few humble ones who are still able, and for whom the Lord keeps the world alive!
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