Sometimes, we find ourselves in situations of choice, but we cannot get ourselves to decide because doing so would force us to re-evaluate past lives and admit our mistakes. Recognising our wrongs is not simple. Yet the Gospel teaches us that nothing impure will ever enter the kingdom of heaven, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful (Revelation 21: 27). These words show the reality of our lives. It is as if God is asking us, “Do you trust in Me? Do you believe that I have enough depth to bring change? If yes, trust in me. If not, keep looking for excuses (which many of us do!).”
How do we balance our life in eternity with the daily tasks of our finite life on earth? How can we carry on with our works on earth and still remember for Whom we are doing it? We do not exist solely to achieve some worldly goals; we live to please God! But what does pleasing God mean for us? It means to be His servants; to do His will; to wish and act in the same way as He would. It means being thankful to God for our accomplishments and not be proud of them. Thank the Lord and follow His way.
Priest Valery Zakharov
Today, we commemorate the Icon of the Holy Theotokos "Joy of All Who Sorrow". It sends us a powerful message: joys and sorrows are two sides of the same coin.
The proverbial Lost Son acknowledged the depth of his fall and found the courage to return to his father. But many could find it extremely difficult to do the same.
No one can get to the Kingdom of Heaven without learning to live in the spirit. What a formidable challenge! No one should underestimate its scale. To meet it, we need the daring and courage that come from the Lord.
The feast of the Exaltation of the Cross takes a special place among the Christian feasts. It is our chance to reflect on eternity, the victory of life over death, and the triumph of God's love.
The short text of the prayer "Lord Our Father" has these precious lines, "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors". They remind us that our debtors are not just those who owe us money, but they are also people who we should not judge.
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.
How might we picture our meeting with the Lord? Our hearts will wake up to His presence and infinite love; we will discover the joy of forgiveness and prayer for the whole world.