What unspeakable joy for one to be called “my child” by the great apostle who claimed divine adoption and rapture to heaven, Paul, the Apostle to the nations! Timothy, my child, the beginning, the address, the literal love of the Epistle to Timothy, of the text that said it all to all of us like a whisper in one’s ear, “Watch thou in all things”, that is, have a vigilant, prudent mind and a nurturing heart. Fast, as the doe, as the need for a life that rapidly passes from the earth, as the light that comes to illuminate the darkened ones, the faces of the brothers who abandon centuries-old traditions simply because the Lord took their heart fast, as every missionary journey in forests and deserts with the longing to find people to partake in the Holy Communion with Christ Himself. For this reason alone, this “affliction” of the Epistle sounds like paradise. Work hard! Struggle! Fight! Bleed! Stay vigilant! Bathe in sweat and tears, because the work of the Church is not yet complete. Pray and carry out your service fully, make everyone one with the One.
Do the work of an evangelist and perform your ministry fully, write on the white parchment of every heart the monogram of Christ, evangelize the joy of the Resurrection, particularly/mainly where apparently there is only death, speak to them in a language unknown to them about the true Life, and, as it often happens, they will understand you with misty eyes. Do not be intimidated by the martyrdom of the Apostles, you are already dead to/for this world; you only live for His Body.
And most importantly, “fulfill thy ministry”, fully perform all the duties of your ministry. Do everything perfectly to the Glory of God. Run to the people and show them that the problem with the brother from afar is theirs.
This command of the first Apostle Paul has been indelibly impressed on my mind. This is the measure of truth, the perfection of our mission. That is why in the midst of a pandemic death, we are building living spaces: two churches, the one dedicated to Saint Irene Chrysovalantou and the other to Saint (Holy Elder) Daniel of Katounakia, two new parishes, two new Christian communities, two lungs of life. That is why we are inaugurating the Monastery of Saint Joseph the Hesychast, the “university”of prayer in the premises of which the first priestly seminary will operate, the first nursery of Orthodox local priests, who will spread Orthodoxy. That is why we continue to offer free education by creating new school units and at the same time by building facilities for hosting children so that the new generation can look to heaven with hope and not despair. That is why the titanic work of our clinic continues with free medical treatment (examinations as well as medications) so that we can stand next to each other with dignity and as equals. That is why we are determined not to stop our God-loving missionary work by any means. For this ministry has been given to us by the Church and is shared with all of you who are warm-hearted people and real philanthropists and are touched by what “External Mission” means and involves.
✝ Bishop Prodromos of Toliara