“You are the light of the world”
In this past week, on July 12th, we celebrated the feast day of Saint Paisios the Athonite of Mount Athos (1924-1994). He is the newest saint of our Church, canonized on January 13, 2015 by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Elder Paisios was a humble monastic who lived most of his life in Mount Athos helping others. Throughout his life, tens of thousands of people visited him asking for healing and guidance in their lives. He had a gift of being able to see things that others could not. He could interpret signs and accurately predict events in people’s lives. He dedicated his days to visiting with people and his nights to praying for them, leaving him with only two to three hours to sleep each night. Because of his humility, love of others, and self-sacrifice, he became a shining light for all Christians.
This is the shining light we read about in last week’s gospel. The Lord tells us again this week that His disciples “are the light of the world.” Saint Paisios was one our most beloved disciples in modern times. His life, miracles, prophecies, and teachings continue to touch the hearts of people throughout the world. Hundreds still line up at his gravesite each week, kneeling, praying, and asking for his help. He, himself, was a modern day miracle by providing the world with a renewed faith in God. We read countless stories in the bible of miracles happening throughout history. Many people believe, but there are also many who just see them as exaggerated stories. Saint Paisios lived during our lives, giving the world new miracles that were witnessed by people we know. His selfless life serving the Lord has helped people throughout the world to have a stronger belief in what is possible: A belief in the miracles of the past and a hope for the miracles of the future. The knowledge that God’s disciples walk among us today helps to strengthen our faith. We are reminded of the importance of coming to church and giving all that we have so we may serve the Lord. The “light of the world” is within us all. Let us do everything we can to allow it to shine bright!