We ought to work towards becoming rich in the Lord. We should reflect, weigh our every action and check if it conforms to God's will. We must ask ourselves, "Where am I going to gain and lose? What is good and bad in it for me?" Sometimes, the answers do not seem that obvious. Something is hurting me a lot, and I want to show the whole world how great my pain is. But perhaps this is an expression of God's love, His way of sobering me up and protecting me from making a false move? Or maybe it is my chance to work harder on taming my flesh and blood and overcoming my sinful ways? Perhaps His love that prepares me for even hardship in carrying my cross? So the fear and anguish of my dying moments will not diminish my trust in the Lord and my willingness to surrender myself to His will. Now is the time to prepare.
For all the exciting moments, good news or joyful events that might await us in the future, we should never lose sight of our desire for eternal life and victory over death. Central to our lives as Christians is always the resurrection. We all believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Infected by sin, we still have faith in our immortality.
Perhaps over many years of our earthly lives, we might have had moments when we detached ourselves from our worldly concerns and put our whole trust in our Lord; when His love filled our hearts and they were glowing with it. Such moments are very few, yet they gave us the experience of a life to come. We all need such an experience to defeat our own death. Without it, we have no chance of meeting Christ on Earth; and if we do not meet him in this life, we will not meet him any time or anywhere.
Christ has come, and he is calling us: Come to me all you who are weary and burdened; learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart (Matthew 11: 28, 29). I am convinced that anyone can answer this call as long as they desire to have a life with God in eternity and have faith in their resurrection.
Archpriest Andrey Lemeshonok
So what kind of fasting should we aim for if we want to please God and benefit our spirits? There is no need to muse too much over these questions - today's Gospel readings give us the idea.
Our situations vary, as do our attitudes and habits. We have our sorrows at times. But one thing we know for sure: our Father in Heaven loves is, and He will forgive, as He always has.
We still hope to find our way to in heaven. But the kingdom of heaven lives by a different set of laws: love your neighbour as yourself, forgive your enemies, and give your blessing even to those who are piling abuse on us. In heaven, we live…
Our earthly life is getting less and less varied. The life of a Christian seems weird to outside observers in pursuit of large-scale events and effects. The outer life of a Christian is much quieter and simpler.
On the 21st of July, the Orthodox Church celebrates the feast day of one of the most revered icons of the Mother of God in Russia - Our Lady of Kazan. This sermon was filmed in 2019 after the Divine Liturgy on the day of the feast.
When in difficulty, but we think that it is beyond our control and the result of our bad luck. It never occurs to us to look into our hearts and seek to re-establish our unity with God. By reuniting with God and sensing His closeness, we can…
We have two windows on the world - our minds and our hearts. Our eyes and ears tend to see or hear what we want them to. Therefore, we are all learning to pray so we can connect our minds with our hearts.