As we enter more and more into this third millennium, we have begun to witness increasing natural and man-made disasters. Thousands of people have been killed, while millions have remained homeless during just the past five years. What does this mean to us?
There is no question that we are living at a time in human history when disasters of every kind are on the increase. It appears to be true that we are at the beginning of the prophesied latter day events.
Should we worry? As people of the Church, and as sons and daughters of God, we have no reason to worry or to fear. For we know that, when we stay close to God in prayer and in our corporate worship, we have no reason to feel insecure.
What should we do? As I have stated in the past in some of my encyclicals, we must always be ready to help the victims of such disasters. This means that all members of the Church, with the Philoptochos Society taking the lead, should be awakened more than ever before, becoming ever more generous and sacrificial in helping those less fortunate. In doing this we emulate our Lord Jesus Christ Who did not come into the world to be served, but He came in order to serve others.
Consequently, the Philoptochos Society must always be in the forefront of helping others, especially when disasters strike.
On Thursday, November 24, 2005 we, as Americans, will celebrate the only religious holiday that our nation has established, and which dates back to the days of President Abraham Lincoln. As we attend our worship services at church, or enter into private prayers, and especially as we sit at our Thanksgiving table laden with God's blessings, let us beseech Christ our God to alleviate the pain and the suffering of so many people throughout the world, and also to make us more sensitive to the needs of others. In this way we will truly be faithful sons and daughters, beloved children of God our Father, Who will continue to work through us for the good and the benefit of those who hunger and thirst, who are without clothing and shelter, and who look to us to diminish their tragic condition.
Finally, more than ever before, let us thank our good and loving God Who shelters us under His protection with all the blessings we enjoy each day of our lives.