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b) Grace.

"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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