Homily of St. Luke of Simferopol on the Transfiguration of Christ (delivered in 1956, August 6)
The great feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord causes us to remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.” (John 14: 10-11) Continue reading
After Pascha and Pentecost, the Feast of the Theophany (or Epiphany) of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest feast of the Orthodox Church. Here Our Lord Jesus Christ is baptized by John in the waters of the Jordan, this being the first public display of God the Word Incarnate to the world. Continue reading
“Magnify O my soul, the honourable Translation of the Mother of God from earth to heaven.”
(Refrain for the 9th Ode of the Canon)
Let us be happy, beloved brothers and sisters that we belong to the Holy Orthodox Church, worthily and rightly glorifying the Most Holy Sovereign Theotokos on this eminent day out of all the days of the year with special solemnity. There exists on earth many societies and entire governments that do not consider the need nor the obligation to call upon and glorify the Queen of heaven and earth, the Mother of Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ, and other saints and angels; to submissively serve Her lovingly, as the true Mother of God. Sadly in Russia nowadays we have heretics (among us) who actively dishonour the Mother of God, the saints, their icons, their relics and their festivals. O, if only they also unanimously with us glorified the worthy Queen of heaven and earth! Continue reading
∼ Words from the Church Fathers ∼
“The Most Holy Mother of God prays for us ceaselessly. She is always visiting us. Whenever we turn to her in our heart, she is there. After the Lord, she is the greatest protection for mankind.
How many churches there are in the world that are dedicated to the Most Holy Mother of God! How many healing springs where people are cured of their ailments have sprung up in places where the Most Holy Theotokos appeared and blessed those springs to heal both the sick and the healthy!
She is constantly, by our side, and all too often we forget her.”
+Elder Thaddeus, Homily on the Dormition of the Theotokos
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Today we are keeping the Feast of the Holy Spirit. What do we know about Him? We heard wonderful words of prayer about Him yesterday on Trinity Sunday, but let us think of Him, of the name He is given in the Gospel, which is translated ‘The Comforter’ in English, in other translations ‘The Advocate’. He is the One Who is the Comforter indeed, the One Who consoles us for our separation from Christ, Who consoles us who are like orphans, who long to be with Christ our God, our Saviour, and who know that as long as we are in the flesh – and these are the words of St. Paul – we are separated from Him. But for Him to be our Comforter, to be our consolation, we must first be aware of the fact that we are separated and this is the first question we must ask ourselves: are we aware of it, or do we live in the delusion that we are in God and God in us, and that nothing more is needed? How much more is needed! Continue reading
Today is the Sunday of Pentecost, when we commemorate the Holy Spirit coming upon the followers of the Risen Jesus, which is the birthday of the Church. The Lord had already ascended into heaven and had promised to send the Holy Spirit upon His followers. He would not leave them alone, cut off from the new life that He had brought to the world. The Spirit is, of course, the third Person of the Holy Trinity and fully God and eternal as are the Father and the Son. By the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ followers share together in the unity, power, and blessing of the Kingdom. Continue reading
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The feast of the Ascension of the Lord is one of the decisive links in our eternal human destiny. This destiny begins on the day that God calls the world from non-being into being with his mighty creative word. This world is placed before the face of God and by the creative word is called not only to temporal life but to remain eternally in the joy and glory of its Lord.
The destiny of the world and of man begins with God’s loving offer of the bliss of friendship with Him till the end of time. And when man fell away from God, when through the treachery of man the whole world was given over to suffering, God did not withdraw his love and abandon us. Never, neither in the hours of paradise nor in the dark years and centuries of the fall, was God a stranger to the world. He was constantly acting within it, arousing in men’s hearts all that was good and true, sending His guardian angels, His prophets and the messengers of His word, – and when the time was ripe the Lord Himself entered the life of the world. When God became incarnate He entered into the historical destiny of man so that there is no dividing line between this historical destiny and God’s eternal life. But the Lord not only entered the historical destiny of man by His incarnation, He united with Himself, with His divine nature, all that He had created – our human flesh which He put on not for a time but forever, our earth, our sky – and demonstrated its wonderful quality and glory. All that He created is capable not only of meeting God, but of being spirit-bearing, God-bearing. Continue reading