In order to inherit Paradise you should become a son

Κυριακή, 2 Οκτωβρίου 2016

In order to inherit Paradise you should become a son


There was a Turkish judge who invited Father Vasileio (later elder Hieronymus of Egina) in his mansion. When Fr Vasileio arrived at the mansion the judge said: - Dear father, I am Turkish, a Muslim, but from the money that I earn, I keep just the necessary for my family and I spend the rest for charity; helping widows, orphans, the poor, the sick and dowering poor girls to help them get married. I keep the fasting; I pray and generally try to be consistent in my belief. Moreover, when judging in court I try to be fair, not to favor anyone however great position he may have. After all that, Father, which is your opinion; aren’t all these enough for me to inherit Paradise according to the Christian belief?
Father Vasileio was impressed by what the Turkish judge told him and his mind immediately linked to the centurion Cornelius (Acts. I). He distinguished similarities between the centurion and the judge. He realized that the judge was a fair and benevolent man and that probably his own mission would be the same as that of the Apostle Peter to the centurion. Therefore he decided to give his testimony of faith.
Fr.V: Please tell me, master, do you have sons?
C: Yes, I do.
Fr.V: And do you have servants?
C: I do have servants, as well.
Fr.V: Who is the one that better executes your orders; your sons or your servants?
C: It is obvious that the servants better execute my orders. My sons often disobey and do what they want while my servants always do what I tell them to do.
Fr.V: So, tell me master, when you die who is going to be your heir; the servants who execute your orders faithfully, or your sons who disobey?
C: But my sons, for sure, my sons! Only my sons have inheritance rights, not the servants.
Fr.V: Exactly! That is why all the nice things that you do, master, are enough to rank you in the category of a good servant, but in the case you want to inherit Paradise - the kingdom of Heaven – you should become a son. And this becomes possible only through the Orthodox baptism.