Confessing God: A Privilege

The first Sunday after Pentecost is dedicated to all the saints because there are far more saints than those listed in the calendars or those we know. And it is on the first Sunday after the Descent of the Holy Spirit because the saints are the fruit of the Spirit. They show in themselves the work of the Holy Spirit. They are one of the greatest gifts of the Holy Spirit, in the sense of the synergy between the Spirit and man. And they are the rarest wonders on earth: the greatest and mightiest testimony of God’s existence.

Today’s Gospel tells us: “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10.32). God somehow humbles Himself here, He condescends Himself and allows us to confess Him. We deduce that this world is a world in itself, with its own laws, in which God must be confessed for He is not obvious. Better said, there is no scientific, objective proof of His existence. Otherwise, there would be no need for confession. It should be noted here that God allows Himself to be confessed; it seems He needs us. And many times, He gives us this opportunity, this privilege to serve Him; He lets himself be served, He who of course does not need service. As when He identifies with one of His least brethren, “inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25.40).

We are in the world, a neutral environment or often even hostile to God, in which God must be confessed. And He asks us—He humbles Himself and asks it of us. But He also says, “him I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven,” which is the true and everlasting confession. God humbly demands this confession of ours. And if we do it, there is eternal life in it for us. If we don’t, we do not have life and we will not have life. But He doesn’t impose it on us, of course. The Savior does not impose anything.

“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven.” God gives us the privilege of talking about Him. We may do something for God that He takes as such, as a boon for Him, and then He rewards us as He knows, forever. It is a privilege. It is needed— He asks it of us, He wants it for us, He invites us to do it. But it is a privilege.

And how is God confessed? Perhaps when we read this verse we have in mind only that particular confession when faced with the fact of confessing Him as did the martyrs who gave testimony. This is one aspect of confession. But practically, to be able to give testimony when asked, at a low or high price—and there will always be a price because such a confession will cost us something in the world—so to be able do it at that moment, during the final exam, we must confess God through our lives. This is what the saints did. The saints are the strongest testimony, because you see them and they speak to you without words, without gestures about the fact that God exists and that He is beautiful and good, loving, long-suffering and peace-bestowing; all their features are His reflection. They have become bearers of God and confess Him without doing anything. Their testimony emanates from all that they are. This is the greatest testimony that can be given about God. The strongest, greatest confession is made through our lives, through how we keep God alive in our lives. That should be our concern. This is where we need to start.

So it is not only the final exam that should concern us, when we ought to testify in a certain environment or in a specific discussion. But from this moment on we must confess within ourselves, within our heart. When sin urges me, I testify in my heart, “Well, that’s not allowed.” I first testify to my heart that God exists. There are many occasions when we must first confess to ourselves and within ourselves, sanctifying ourselves, living the gospel. Inside ourselves; this is how we must begin to confess God. We ought to become God bearers because that is the reason He made us.

It is very interesting that God does not fit into human reason, but fits into the heart. Not in man’s mind, but in his heart. That is why the existence of God is confessed, not proven. That it doesn’t fit in our heads, we also know from the famous story about the life of Blessed Augustine, who wanted to write a book about God and couldn’t. He was walking on the beach and saw a child who had made a hole in the sand and kept carrying water from the ocean. Asked what he was doing, the child replied that he wanted to carry all the water from the ocean into his hole. Then the Blessed Augustine realized that his desire to contain God in a book was impossible. As Father Arsenie used to say, “God cannot be proved, but He is lived and known by a humble heart—pure and humble.” If we live in God, we bring a much stronger evidence than our words and arguments. And conversely, if we utter beautiful and effusive but empty words about God that are not rooted in our hearts, our testimony is weak. So this is the testimony we ought to give: first within ourselves and then before other people.

This is the only way to gain eternal life. May God help us to live in Him and become His bearers.