Behold, the Bridegroom is Coming!

004webAn Excerpt from the Discourse of Compunction (CPG 3908)*

Have mercy on yourself and do not hate your soul! Open your eyes and see how many people are struggling; how they make haste to be saved; how they strive toward every good work; how they guard themselves from envy, from abusive speech, from hatred, from laughter, from unchastity, from luxury, from fighting, and from every other evil. See how they love the narrow and strait way, fasting, keeping vigil, suffering evil and lamenting. See how they have readied and lit their lamps; how their mouth is always hymning and glorifying the immortal Bridegroom. Their eyes are ever fixed on His beauty, and their soul rejoices.

Behold and see that he draws near and does not tarry. For he comes that he might gladden those who love him.

He comes that he might comfort those who mourn and lament, not for someone who has died, or for some temporary punishment, but on account of the sin that so easily entangles us (Hebr. 12:1), for the Kingdom that will have no end, and the blessed delight of Paradise, whence we were cast away for transgressing the commandment of God, and to which we will return again if we mourn and lament.

He comes that he might crown genuine athletes, and those who love the narrow and strain way.

He comes that he might have mercy on the merciful.

He comes that he might bless those who are poor for His sake.

He comes that might fill with good things those who hunger and thirst for His sake.

He comes to illumine the secrets of the darkness and cast light on the counsels of our hearts.

And why not say it succinctly? He comes to render to each according to his works.

He comes not from the earth, like the first time, but from the heavens, with power and great glory. Then the trumpets will sound from the heavens and his Hosts will be shaken. All the earth, as the water of the sea, trembles at His glory. A river of fire goes out before him, purging the earth of its defilements. Then, of a sudden, a cry goes forth: BEHOLD THE BRIDEGROOM IS COMING! Behold, the expected joy is coming. Behold, the boast of the righteous, the sun of righteousness, is coming. Behold, the King of kings is coming, whose kingdom shall have no end. Behold, the just Judge is coming. Behold, he is coming; go out to meet him. Then will they come with joy who have their lamps lit and their raiment bright, and they will hear the voice of the Bridegroom saying to them: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

*Λόγος κατανυκτικός, ed. K.G. Phrantzoles, Ὁσίου Ἐφραίμ τοῦ Σύρου ἔργα 1 (Thessaloniki: Perivole tes Panagias, 1995), 105-106.

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