1. THE PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL
1c. “Now and forever and to the ages of ages”
After the first petition of the faithful, the priest continues: “now and forever and to the ages of ages”. Time is divided in the past, the present and the future.
If we extend our gaze into the past ages, when God’s voice was heard: “Let there be Light” (Gen 1:3) we get some idea of the past. In comparison to the entire past, we are like a drop in the ocean. Where have we been a thousand of years before? Only in God’s mind. When people think about their past full of small and big sins are disturbed by their memories and have no peace. With various means they try to forget. But we can travel back in time and clear all the iniquities of our life through sincere repentance. For those who repent, a pit is opened up and all their sins are buried there. Prophet David sings sweetly: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered”. Ps 31 (32):1.
Where will we be after a thousand of years? In God’s hands. “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). There are thoughts about our future. What is going to happen to me? Will I be healthy? I might face sorrows, misfortunes, obstacles in my personal or family life. These thoughts about an unknown future fill our souls with uneasiness, anxiety and impatience. Only our Lord Jesus Christ can save us from this terrible condition. He gives us the means for our salvation. All these disappear with another gift called “hope”. A hope not based on persons or things of this world, but on the solid unshakable rock, our Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed and fortunate are those who hope in Christ, the only real hope in the world.
We must also pay attention to the “now”, that is, every moment of our life, because it has great importance. Unfortunately, the majority of the people leave the “now” unexploited. A duty exists for every moment and we are called to do something, no matter how small it appears. What is a glass of water worth which someone offers to a thirsty man? Yet, our Lord said that even this small offering of the moment will not remain unrewarded (see Mt 10:42). Our life is the sum of moments, so we can guess the value every moment has. Therefore, we should perform our activity and work honestly and willingly.
Throughout our life, from childhood until death, it is necessary to hymn and glorify God. The Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, will never cease to be hymned in all ages. Now and always and into the eternity they will be glorified, honoured and worshipped. Not only during the Divine Liturgy, but every hour and every moment it is necessary to honour and glorify God. How? By sanctifying every moment of our life, by performing our Christian duties. So, every moment will become a golden coin with the icon of Christ depicted on it.