On Friday the 18th, the youth of St. Mary’s Nativity parish gathered in the Antiochian Youth Centre. We were joined by His Eminence, Metropolitan Basilios, who kindly made himself available for the evening. His Eminence prepared an enlightening discussion for us on important questions that we as Orthodox Christians may find ourselves asking.

Together we explored topics such as our free will (and how this relates to God’s will), inviting Christ into our life (He doesn’t invite Himself!), and dealing with tragedies – in our lives and around us.

His Eminence explained we must be careful with how we express God’s will. During our lives, we are faced with various paths to walk down. We need to decide what actions to take and to discern whether this is the path God wills for us, so we can travel His path, for our arrival to salvation.

Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” [1 Timothy 2]

On our journey to salvation, His Eminence explained that we must expect difficulties. Being a Christian does not guarantee an easy life. As Orthodox faithful to overcome difficulty we must choose to be repentant and remember that Christ is always with us. We discussed the importance of prayer to guide us, and how we must always give thanks regardless of our circumstances:

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” [1 Thessalonians 5:18]

As we sat together in unity and listened to Metropolitan Basilios, it was most beautiful to observe also how our journey does not need to be a lonely one. In our gathering we found ourselves surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ, all journeying towards salvation together.

In our fellowship we keep each other company, guide each other to navigate the difficult roads ahead, serve and strengthen our community, and lend each other a hand when our cross, at times, may seem too heavy.

Glory to God for all things!

By Mishlene Khouri, Youth Committee member