In the World, Not Of It

If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 15:19)

Holy Father …  I have given them your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not pray that you take them out of the world, but that you  keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  (John 17:14-16)

Deacon John Chryssavgis comments:

How sadly Christians have misinterpreted the words of Christ that we are in the world but not of the world (cf. John 17:14 & 16).  The two verses from John’s Gospel should not  be detached, still less are they to be divorced, from the middle verse which is a clarification of Christ’s prayer:

I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from evil. (v. 15)

Whenever we fail to seek the cosmic vision, we narrow life to ourselves, our concerns and our desires, and neglect the vocation to which we are called to transform the creation of God.  Just as whenever we reduce religious life to ourselves, our concerns and our desires, we forget the calling of the Church to implore God – always and everywhere – for the renewal of the whole polluted cosmos.  For the Church is a unique symbol.  And I use the term symbol not as a way of perceiving reality, but as a profound way of realizing and reconciling (the literal translation of the Greek symbolon is bringing together) two distinct, though not unrelated realities: divinity and creation, God and world. 

The Church brings to God the world, for the life of which God have his only Son; and the Church also brings God to the world, which God so loved (John 3:16).  This reconciliation is the essential function of the Church.  The direct opposite of the symbolic is the diabolical worldview.  All the diabolical (Greek: dia-bolos meaning the one who disperses) heresy of the ecological crisis is the exclusion of the reality of the Kingdom of heaven, as well as the dispelling of the intuition that everything is a unique manifestation of the kingdom.”   (BEYOND THE SHATTERED IMAGE, pp 11-12)

Christ is risen!