Each day, we commemorate a saint. Yet some saints take a special place in our memories. Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker is one; this church keeps a particle of his relics. He is always present for us in the spirit, and we know he intercedes for us when we invoke his name in our prayers for salvation and the success of our undertakings.
The Sunday of the Samaritan is one of these special dates on which we contemplate our meeting with the Lord. No matter how deep the well and how good and cold the water, it could not quell the spiritual angst of the Samaritan woman. She came at the hottest hour of the day when she was least likely to meet anyone else. And she met the Lord. That meeting was not coincidental: Christ knew the measure of shame, embarrassment and regret. She arrived repentant and contrite in the heart - unlike many others who are unashamed, unrepentant, and often even proud of their sins. Nowadays, sin has become the new righteousness for many.
The Samaritan woman embraced Christ, and so did all the people in her neighbourhood. The Samaritans let Christ into their lives, unlike their neighbours, the people of Gadara. It is the same in our world today. Even in families, some will accept Christ, and others will not. But we cannot expect all the people to turn to Christ simultaneously and march along as one to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Everyone's journey will be different. We are members of one church, but each will have to overcome their own set of formidable barriers - pride, cowardice, faint-heartedness, and many other weaknesses of the spirit. Sometimes, there are so many that it seems that nothing can make us pure enough to respond to the calling of God's love. But we should not despair. With God, nothing is impossible.
Narrow is the way to the Kingdom of God. We know it is an arduous ascent, in which each day is like dying on the cross. We commit ourselves to a bitter and exhaustive inner struggle. In the pains of this struggle, our new selves are born, who reject the old life of sin. Perhaps the moment of this rebirth is what likens us to the proverbial Samaritan woman.
Christ is risen!
Preached on 22.05.2022
Let the Christians rejoice, even though few people want to talk about the joy and are preoccupied instead by the troubles and misfortunes of the world. Christ has overcome this world, and we are going His way to the Kingdom of Heaven.
When the Pharisees met Christ, one of them asked, "Who is He?" "Son of Joseph," replied another. We like to believe that we know it all. We like to be confident and unshaken in our decisions and to be convincing to ourselves and others.
We can fight off the virus by wearing a mask and keeping our distance, but to keep at bay the spirit of hostility is much harder, as it attacks us from afar.
God's grace is bestowed on us at church by virtue of God's love for every human being whom He created in His image; His grace has a powerful impact on our lives - it acts like a fire that eats away all the things that are superfluous, passing…
We may imagine ourselves to be masters of our lives and make our plans for decades ahead - only to find them derailed someday. But the Scripture tells us: "As for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me."
The Scripture provides us with some explanations as to why people who heard the word of God and saw the churches do not see, though seeing, and do not hear or understand, though hearing - many centuries ago or today, and why their hearts remain…
To grow up spiritually is to develop the habit of spiritual life. You start small but practise every day. We all took the Holy Communion today. To remain with Christ, we must all take communion at every Liturgy.
The people who do not know God will live different lives, which may even be quite exciting and filled with all sorts of pleasures. Their life journeys, however, will have the same endpoint – being buried in a grave and falling into oblivion.