In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Dear beloved, let us remember the holy martyr St Constantine, may the saint pray for us.

9th century Georgia faced great threats from the Muslim Turks who forced many Christians to convert to Islam by force. From the years 853 o 854, the 85 years old Prince Constantine of Kartli and his son Tarkhuj attempted valiantly to fight back Baga-Turk’s invasion of Georgia.

Unfortunately, the Georgians were defeated and the prince and his son were captured. Although initially well treated by the caliph because the caliph was hoping that the prince would renounce his Christian faith and in so, influence the Christian population, the prince held on to his faith in God, and said, “Your sword does not frighten me. I am afraid of Him Who can destroy my soul and body and Who has the power to resurrect and to kill, for He is the true God, the almighty Sovereign, Ruler of the world, and Father unto all ages!”

The caliph was furious and ordered the saint to be executed. The saint gave thanks and prayed, and was martyred.

When we utter our cries unto God, we often ignorantly and sometimes innocently believe that God panders to our every begging call and render outcomes that we want. However, rather than imagine that God labors after our every whim and fancy, we need to have a proper re-orientation.

It is not about God answering our calls, which are often redundant, frivolous, and meaningless.

Rather, it is about US answering God’s calls. And God, in His infinite mercy and grace, calls us every day, every moment, day and night. It all depends on whether we have softened our egos and senses to be sensitive to God’s calls to us or not. It all depends on whether we are repentant to work on our spiritual reunion with God or not (Psalms 145:18-20).

St Constantine the holy martyr showed us where our priorities should be. In the face of suffering and death, rather than give in and hope for material comfort, the saint defiantly told the caliph that he was not afraid of being killed. Rather, the saint was more worried of his salvation and his standing before God, established in the Truth of God, enshrined in Orthodoxy (2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5).

One of the most important labors we need to do as a Christian, is repentance. Without repentance, we cannot receive healing and reconciliation with God, because our egos are in the way (Luke 13:1-9).

And when we repent before God, we are working with God. We are answering God’s constant calls. And just as we reflect on Psalms 145:18-20, God will save us.

As we shed our egos, we become more child-like, and we bring this innocence and pure faith with us as we walk towards God in our life journeys. As we read from Jeremiah 1:4-9, we are children, children of God, and God will gift us with strength, and will be with us all the days, in all the ways.

So, let us always check on our egos, repent often, and look out for God’s constant calls for us, out of His love and mercy for us.

Let us pray, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”.

Let us close by praying the thanksgiving prayer:

It is truly meet to call thee blest, the Theotokos, ever blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption thou gavest birth to God the Word: True Theotokos, we magnify thee.

O virgin Theotokos, rejoice; O Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr Raphael+

Readings:
Jeremiah 1:4-9
Psalms 145:18-20
Luke 13:1-9
2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5