“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Col. 2:8)
The love of the Triune God, dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, has enabled us to reach the year 2010 and to celebrate the following events:
a) The Circumcision of the Lord. This took place in accordance with the Mosaic Law when the Lord was eight days old. At that time He was given the name Jesus. The word Jesus means “Saviour”.
b) The commemoration of St Basil the Great. St Basil served as Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia. He was not of very good health and therefore died on the 1st January in the year 379 A.D. at the age of forty-nine.
c) Our entry into the New Year 2010. Ecclesiastically the New Year begins on the 1st September. Therefore, relevant hymns referring to that event are to be found in the book of the Menaeon for the month of September. Most of the people of the world celebrate the coming of the New Year on the 1st January. The Church participates in the joy of men but so far she has not changed her practice as far as the New Year is concerned. She maintains those things which existed when Christ came to earth and the Romans were the great power. At that time each new year was launched in the month of September.
In what follows, we are going to deal with the apostolic reading. This text derives from the epistle of St Paul which he addressed to the Christians of Colosse. This letter was written in Rome where St Paul was imprisoned, although he himself was not known by the church of Colosse. Epaphras, his disciple, taught them after Paul’s instruction. Paul being in prison had a visit from Epaphras who informed him about the difficulties and problems the newly baptised Christians of Colosse were facing. There were people who tried to lead them astray with heretic teachings which were false and irrelevant to the faith of Christ.
Unfortunately, in the course of the centuries the members of the church were facing and will always be faced with this danger. Satan stirs up the various wrong teachings in order to confuse the conscience of the members of the church and to trouble them, having as his target to lead them astray from the churchfold and finally to lead them to catastrophe. Thus, the advice of divine Paul which says: “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ”, remains always contemporary and very useful.
The more immature spiritually or in age members of the church happen to be, the more they are in danger of falling into traps and to accept false teaching. Therefore, a continuous alertness is necessary as well as correct knowledge and complete information regarding the truth of the faith.
In these days of globalisation there are all sorts of ideas circulating in abundance and which persuasively seek followers and victims. Therefore, the danger exists every day for all, especially the youth. The youngsters, as it is known, are inexperienced and vulnerable. Therefore, they are easily led for they are not as strong-minded as they think they are so they particularly need to be alert.
Families must take special care regarding this matter. Those who keep their children away from the church must be aware that there is a danger to lose them to other faiths more easily. Unfortunately, some parents occupy themselves in securing a more comfortable materialistic way of life for their children and often they neglect their spiritual responsibilities towards their children.
Let us bear in mind that man is naturally a religious being. He gazes up to heaven and seeks God. He is an animal with logic, for he has the charisma of the articulate word, that is his word transmits messages and becomes comprehensible. He is not a being without reason which looks continuously towards the ground. The animals make sounds but these are inarticulate, they have no meaning.
If man lacks religious faith in his childhood, the time will come when he is going to seek it. However, he is going to be spiritually hungry and he will not be in a position to differentiate clearly right from wrong. For this reason it is necessary for men to be taught their faith from childhood so that they will