In his homily on the Sunday of All Saints, Metropolitan Porfirije, speaking on Christ’s words from the gospel, “Whosoever loves mother or father or brother or sister…..more than Me….” said:
“This is a harsh saying of Christ, but unless correctly understood we will see that it is another light yoke and good news of Christ, for He wants not only to save me and you, but all of us together. He wants to save that which is ours, and those who are ours. Oftentimes that depends on us, on our trust in Christ and our relationship with our neighbors. If we love anyone else more than Christ than our love for them is in vain, for it is temporary and limited. It is transient since everything in this world is transient. But if we love Christ with our entire being, if we know that we cannot be without Him, if we know that everything depends on Him, if we give our entire lives to Him and place Him at the center of our lives, then everything, and that which is ours, through our trust and our love, through our unbreakable connection with Christ, be connected with Him. Then, in that connection, in our love towards Christ, already here and now, we will begin to experience the mystery of the Heavenly Kingdom, and in eternity we will experience salvation. Our firm connection with Him will drag the community with us into His embrace, including those who are tied to us. Certainly it is necessary that others desire this as well. It is much more important that we desire it than what we are like (our state). That we desire it always and each day be better, that we stand up after each one of our falls, that we return after each time we missed something, that we correct our sins. But that purity is in vain – if we were to have it – and that pure, moral image, if we only place our hope in it and not know that it is much more important that we believe in Christ and want to be with Him.
Taking up one’s cross and following Christ means accepting one’s life as it is. Accepting it as a gift from God. To accept the conditions in which we live, but regardless of how difficult those conditions might be at times, to attempt to be connected with Christ, to surrender to Him and His Providence. Then He will be the One who makes sense, give sense, and fullness to all that which we have, what we are and what we do, regardless of what is like.”