July 24, 2023

Homilies on the Litany of Completion of the Divine Liturgy - The Remaining Time of our Life (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

The Litany of Completion of the Divine Liturgy 
The Remaining Time of our Life
By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou
The time of our biological life begins from the first moment of our conception and reaches the moment when the soul is separated in time from the body. This period is called biological life, because human life never ends. Physical life (βίος) ends (τελειώνει), but life (ζωή) itself is completed (τελειούται), as we say in the synaxaria: "Our holy Father completed his life in peace" or the holy Martyr "completed his life by the sword", that is, it is completed and does not end.

However, when there is remaining time until death, that's why we pray to God: "That we may complete the remaining time of our life in peace and repentance, let us ask the Lord," that is, let us ask the Lord to spend the rest of our life in peace and repentance.

We cannot know how much time is left in our lives. We can correct the past, that is to say, repent for what we did in the previous period of our lives, review every mistake and evil and make creative use of the present. However, we do not know how long the rest of our lives will be, since we do not know what will happen in the next few minutes, the remaining hours, days and the rest of the year. Death lurks everywhere. A Latin quote says: "Death is certain, the hour of death uncertain."

However, we try to control and utilize the remaining time of our lives in a special way. We all have dreams, plans for the future, plans for ourselves and our people and much more. No one can exclude us from such a thing, because otherwise we will fall into idleness and apathy, as long as these are also done in moderation and we do not fall into daydreams. But we can't cling to all these plans for the future and let the present escape us, or we shouldn't live as if we were immortal on earth. And this is a problem of our time and our education, which make man feel that he will live permanently on earth, that his biological end will never come.

We must dedicate the rest of our life - which we do not know how long it will be - to God and ask Him to help us spend it in peace and repentance. Peace is internal and external and repentance is the return from unnatural life to natural and supernatural life. Essentially, we confess that we do not know how long the rest of our lives will be, but what we desire is to live peacefully, without conflicts, disturbances, and with repentance. This means that we recognize that it is possible that our distorted will may lead us to some act that is contrary to the will of God, to some sin, but we confess to God that we cannot live without Him, so we ask Him not to let us perish, but to give us His Grace to repent.

Time without peace and repentance is eternally lost, while time with peace and repentance is blessed, worthy of our Christian name and our Christian life.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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