Fear not, little flock!

I often have difficulty choosing a title for my writings. The title should sum up in a few words everything that follows it. This time, however, the title just came to my mind; to comfort me and to encourage me in my struggle

Here is why: I spend most of the year in the south of the United States. It is warm and it feels good to my old bones. God has poured out abundant beauty onto these parts. I have noticed that where God gave the most generously the people are the most sinful and the least grateful. It is rare to find as much impiety as it exists in California or Florida.

When, some time ago, I started coming to that place, I didn’t know, nor I could have even imagined, how much this place was contaminated with one of the largest and the most dangerous American cults.

Until recently, I was convinced that their headquarters were located in that city. Not long ago, I have learned that it is not. Terrified, I thought: if there is so much splendour and pomp here, I wonder how it is there where the head of the cult and his apprentices live and make the devil’s plans.

Because here, in this place, of which I am writing, all of the high-rise monumental buildings, in the core downtown and its closest proximity, belong to this cult. They are all very well maintained, brightly lit, and painted in their recognizable colour. Whatever direction you come from you cannot miss them. In the imperfect world, their artificial perfection stares you in the face. There’s also their flamboyant hotel, I suppose, beyond any classification. In front of the hotel there is an abundance of luxurious cars, belonging to them, of course. There are young men, slender and tall, and perfectly neat; with a smile carved into their faces, already stony. You look around, and on the monumental building right next to this one, carved in stone is a name of a bank. Like devil it is, it used to be a bank, once; it is one of their establishments now. Bank here, library there, restaurants and bars everywhere – it is all theirs now. They conquered and overrun everything.

A local told me that, until recently, the downtown used to be lively and diverse. All sorts of trades and services were present. Nowadays, all of those who did not comply had to lock their doors. They caused many to put padlocks on their businesses.

Not far from the city centre, on the beach, is their resort; probably for the best or the most powerful ones. Splendour and luxury that cannot be described. The buses are circulating among their buildings, taking them to their various activities. Bigger, but not less luxurious, buses take them to different places, in their hunt for human souls.

It goes without saying that in the city you cannot avoid them even if you really want to. Wherever you go you will run into them. Perfectly neatly uniformed. One can tell that their suits are made to fit each one of them. Patterns vary, depending on their rank, I guess. Mostly young men and women. All of them very nice-looking. The older ones are probably in the offices so they do not spoil their image of “joy” and strength.

Out of my own curiosity and because of my heavy thoughts, I looked carefully into faces of most of them and very often stared into their eyes. I wanted to penetrate under that armour of neatness and artificial kindness as much as I could and read what hides beneath it. Trust me, I could not find true joy in any one of them. Everything is neat and tidy and running perfectly like clockwork, but there is no true joy in their eyes.

Running into them every day, and watching that horrible military apparatus made me think that they will trample the whole world. They have put their yoke on an army of the famous and the powerful: actors and actresses, artists of all kinds, athletes, wealthy businessmen, powerful politicians: everyone and anyone of every human sort. I was told that they even exist among the political leaders of my unfortunate country of Serbia.

I was never enthralled by them, I was terrified by the thought of what kind of impact that kind of power, splendour, and luxury can have on a poor, young human being trembling before the uncertainty and incertitude of the present time. Especially when that young person comes from a broken home, and is abandoned and insecure.  And then a person of his/her age approaches him/her, pours out an abundance of kindness, and offers him/her a job, a shelter, and a multitude of sweet sounding words and deceptive smiles

I don’t really know when it was, for the first time, in the Holy Script, that I came across these words of consolation from God that I used as a title to this text. These words were somewhere in my sub-consciousness and they emerged now to clarify my thoughts and to encourage my soul: “Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) The part “little flock” is very striking. Our Lord, seeing through centuries, addresses us with what we will become. By the look of it, and by what we can be assured of, watching these wolves who scare away the flock, and take the sheep, the weak, little lambs, one by one into their den, we realize that, truly, the flock becomes smaller and smaller every day. That is how it becomes clear why God wonders if He will find “faith on earth” when He comes back. (Luke 18:8) God does not wonder whether He will find temples or cathedrals, magnificent human creations with crosses placed upon them; or if there will be some kind of priests, instead He wonders if “He will find faith on earth.

I have discussed here only one example of deceptive human power; unfortunately, examples are present everywhere and in great number. In my neighbourhood, as the English would say, my “next door” neighbour rented his house to a certain cult. And again, you can see human power and military discipline. Into that house, after their hunting expeditions they land in pairs, perfectly neatly uniformed. They do not lack anything. They have a suit for every occasion and every season. The white button-down shirt and a tie are mandatory. Among many other things, there is also a very nice and reliable car. I am watching him as I write this

I have noticed they rotate every few months following some sort of their own order. One leaves, the other young man comes to take his place. His senior colleague welcomes him to instruct him and to pass on the experience. And so on..

I have been a priest for a very long time. I have seen and experienced a lot; and still when I encounter this kind of human force I tremble. I am a religious man – although, truly, sinful, but the faith gives me courage. And when the Lord says to not be afraid, I take that encouragement to heart. But again and again I wonder what happens to the souls of others whose faith is not strong; how does a young man, already prepared by the media to give in, look at this. Or, for example, an old man or a woman, longing for a conversation regardless of its nature, how they look at it. When these Hollywood – trained people approach them how can they not give in

God says they will. He also warns us that we will walk narrow, steep paths paved with thorns, and that the way to the Heavenly Kingdom is through a narrow door. “For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13,14) On one hand God calls us the “little flock” and on the other hand, He tells us that there are “many” of those others

The whole world is filled with “many” others. They have all of the possible and impossible means at their disposal. Although they are prohibited in some countries that take care of themselves, and in some European countries – who would have guessed – they even have law suits against them, the cult, that I have mentioned above, got their own TV channel a few days ago

Now, along with Muslims and others that have money for bribery, they can swimmingly enter the houses of those who would otherwise slam the door in their face

The same way Lord encourages us, His Apostle warns us and strengthens us to remain ready at the stronghold of our faith. It is easy to slip from the little flock of the chosen ones onto the wide road and into the sea of the invitees who do not attend. “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13) The Apostle encourages us to not conform to this world (Romans 12:2) because “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one”. (1 John 5:20

Let’s not let our desire for the “contemporaneity” lead us to damnation, and let’s not “follow the tide”. If we are part of Christ’s “little flock” let’s stay there

“But the day of the Lord will come” (2 Peter 3:10), when everything will settle in its place. “The one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)