From “The Shell of Death”

April 7, 2010

How beautifully our people in the Balkans decorate eggs. The more beautifully to decorate Easter. To increase the joy of Pascha. To make their guests more happy. Sometimes the colored eggs are truly art. If the colored eggs are let to stand too long, they become rotten inside, and give off an unbearable odor, or at the end completely dry up.

That is when the colored shell holds within itself death. 

More dreadful is Jesus’ picture of the hypocrites who are like “whitewashed tombs, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanliness”… 

All their outward, fixed-up appearance, is only a colored shell of death, a whitewashed tomb. When it comes to them, that which we call death, alas, all that really comes to them is the confirmation and seal of their already long past, dead soul.  

But you, do not be like the hypocrites, Christ taught the people. Do not be like the hypocrites when you give charity, “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” (Matthew 6:2,3) 

Do not be hypocrites when you pray to God. “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:5-13) 

Do not be like the hypocrites when you fast. “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:16-18)  “For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.” (Mark 4:22) 

God will reveal to you great secrets at a time when you do not expect it. The prophets and righteous knew this, but the scribes and Pharisees did not, and still don’t. – St. Nikolai Velimirovich


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