September 30, 2023
October 17, 2023
Father Niko's Monthly Message - October 2023
Fr. Niko Bekris
Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,
I would like to share this beautiful story from The Spiritual Meadow, a collection of miracle stories and monastic wisdom in the 6th century of Byzantium:
“There came to Thessaloniki another monk, also from Mesopotamia, whose name was Adolas. He confined himself in a hollow plane tree in another part of the city. He made a little window in the tree through which he could talk with people who came to see him. When the barbarians came and laid waste all the countryside, they happened to pass by that place. One of the barbarians noticed the elder looking down at them. He drew his sword and raised his arm to strike the elder. But he remained there, rooted to the spot with his hand stuck up in the air. When the rest of the barbarians saw this, they were amazed and, falling down before him, they besought the elder to restore their comrade. The elder offered a prayer and healed him and thus he dismissed them in peace.”
There are many lessons which we as Orthodox Christians can derive from this story. For myself, the first that I see is that God’s holy people do not return violence, which was typical in the early Church - Christianity spread from martyrdom, not by the sword.
The second, is that God is with us in our troubles, in that He cares for those who follow Him. This elder devoted his life to prayer and helping others who came by, and God delivered him from certain death by an invading army. In so doing, the Lord left a moment of inspiration for all the people of the elder’s day, and for those of us who read it centuries later.
May we always remember that the Lord is with those who believe in Him. Amen!
With love in Christ,
Father Nikolaos Bekris, Proistamenos