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July 9, 2023

Homily One for the Fifth Sunday of Matthew - The Corruption of Nature (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

Homily for the Fifth Sunday of Matthew 
The Corruption of Nature 
By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

Christ, with the miracle we heard today in the Gospel, healed two demoniacs who lived in the tombs and no one dared to pass by that place. And then Christ allowed the demons to enter the pigs, which fell into the lake and drowned.

Three things faced the fury and malice of demons. One was the earth, the cemetery, where the possessed lived and so that became a place of fear and terror, and from God's creation it became the abode of demons. The other is the animals, the pigs, who received the wrath of the demons. And the third was the sea in which the pigs were drowned.

All of God's creation was good from the beginning, even Lucifer himself was an archangel, bright. God did not create anything evil, but everything was good from the beginning, that's why Moses writes after each day of creation: "And God saw that it was good, and it was evening and it was morning, the first day." But Lucifer, who became Satan, gave birth to evil, he induced man to fall, and then evil fell upon the whole creation. In reality, creation was swayed by fallen man.

In today's Gospel reading we see that man was demonized and then the earth, the animals and the sea received the destructive fury of the demons. This is an example in which creation seems to be corrupted by the destructive fury of the devil, but also by passionate man. Everyone talks about the so-called ecological problem, which tends to destroy ecosystems, but also our very lives and the land we live on. Everyone blames the Governments of Countries and the people who look to trade and overlook the effects that heavy industry has on the whole planet, but they ignore that it all comes from the devil and the passions through which he works. Today everything is polluted, the land, the water, the air, the sea, the animals and of course this pollution enters our body through food.

In addition to the ecological problem, at the same time man is polluting the creation in another spiritual way. While all creation is the creation of God and reveals His glory and His majesty, as we see in many Psalms of David man still nevertheless pollutes creation with his sins and his abominations. Especially during the summer season, most of the time, instead of the forest and the sea being places of God's praise, they become places of sin. People have associated their holidays with a life free from constraints.

We must love nature, respect it as God's creation, and glorify God. And our summer holidays should be combined with mental rest that we really need and not with mental burden.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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