On this night of the Theophany, we are all one with our Lord. For our sake, He came to this world. He restored us to His inheritance and showed us that our true homeland is not in this finite world, but in His eternal kingdom of Heaven. We partake of His Body and Blood to have everlasting life. We must accept these gifts with gratitude; they are ours to keep.
Sin lives in us and keeps us from following God. But God has returned sanctity to us, to our bodies and our souls, giving us all it takes to live forever.
We have a choice, but once we have chosen the way of God, we will remember that He is near, and leading us forward. We know it and have no doubt, despair or fear.
We gathered here today for an overnight service, where attendance is always a feat of giving to the Lord a piece of ourselves. In the words of the Holy Fathers, give blood, accept the spirit.
There is great wisdom in these words. We take a lot from the Lord, and He gives us generously. But we also need to give something to Him, which is not easy. We must give to the Lord our strength, abilities, time and some of our comforts to take from him His spirit.
Our engagement in this struggle is a form of living in the spirit. In it, we discover our infirmities. We also become aware of them in our troubles and illnesses, which are given to us to learn that our future is not made by our hands, but by God's love; that we do not create it by our personal accomplishments, but that we achieve salvation by our humility and patience. In our trials, we learn to build a genuine relationship with God and overcome our sense of autarchy and conceit.
Tonight, many of us have taken the Body and Blood of Christ into us. We are also taking the Holy Water, which we will bring home to sanctify our dwellings as our domestic churches. We will sprinkle this holy water on our loved ones who could not join us at church for some reason. Let us keep this relic close to our hearts and guard our minds and spirits against sin.
O, Lord! Glory to You!
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Our congratulations go to all our women. We wish them to grow in their faith and success in their hard work to keep the peace in their families.