"As breathing is necessary for the body,
and without breathing a man cannot live, so without the breathing of God's
Spirit a soul cannot live the genuine life," wrote the Righteous St.
John of Kronstadt, in My Life in Christ.
In the last three parables, the Lord Jesus Christ
taught about God's grace. The first parable, which is about the laborers who
received equal pay, reveals how God gives grace and the kingdom of heaven to
people, not because of their specific services to Him but exclusively out of
His infinite love. The second parable, which is about the ten virgins, tells us
we must consider gaining God's grace the purpose of life. Finally, in the third
parable of the servants waiting for the return of their lord, the Lord teaches
us to sustain diligence and a burning spirit by the expectation of His Advent.
This is how the three parables add up to one another.
The grace of God is the power sent by God for our
spiritual revitalization. It cleanses our transgressions, heals our spiritual
infirmity, directs our thoughts and will towards good, conciliates and
enlightens our senses, and restores vigor, confidence and ethereal joy. Grace
is given to people for the sake of the sufferings on the cross of the Son of
God. Without grace, man cannot succeed in good works, and his soul will
remain lifeless. "The Holy Spirit the Comforter, filling the
Universe," wrote the Righteous St. John of Kronstadt, "passes
through all faithful, gentle, meek, kind souls, and becomes everything for
them: light, power, peace, joy, success in work and especially in righteous
life for all the good"(ibid).
In Jesus' time, the Judaic attitude towards
religion started to become utilitarian. For following some ritual
instructions they expected an appropriate and specific reward from God in the
form of worldly goods. A living communion with God and spiritual revival were
not the basis of their religious life. That is why the Lord shows the wrongs of
such a utilitarian approach to religion in the parable about the <see next chapter>
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