Sermon in English for 12th Sunday of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke 17:12-19
At that time, as Jesus entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices and said: “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’s feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then said Jesus: “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him: “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”
Obviously, the central figure in the Nativity story is Christ Himself, the Logos of God become incarnate as a human being. The next most central figure is the Virgin Mary. Tradition teaches us that the Virgin Mary was born to elderly parents, Ioachim and Anna, who had faith to believe that God would grant them a child in old age. She was chosen by God before her birth for this specific role of carrying the Son of God in her womb and allowing Him to enter the creation as a new-born babe. She was raised in the temple from the age of two or three, and then when she came out of the temple around age fourteen, almost immediately she was betrothed to Joseph, and then visited by the Archangel Gabriel, and asked to be part of the God’s plan for our salvation.
The story of the birth of Christ and its true significance is often clouded by the commercialism of the season. There is a very frenzied pace to these days which can so easily depersonalize us and dampen the true joy of the season. The stores tempt us for weeks on end to buy this thing or by that thing. Some of us prefer to speak of the ‘Holiday Season’ rather than of Christmas. Many schools have forbidden the remembrance of Christ’s birth in the classroom. Yes, throughout our society, many fail to remember that the coming of Christ is truly at the heart of the Christmas celebrations.
What can we do? Let us remember that the season celebrates the love of God revealed in the coming of Christ. For those with faith, the coloured lights, the green trees, the wreaths and the flowers are the symbols of the joy of Christmas. Let us celebrate the joy of Christ’s coming!
Let us share the love of God with others. Christ has come to bear witness to the Father’s love for us. We too can share this love with others, especially with the poor and less fortunate among us. We can be sensitive to those who cannot easily celebrate because of a loss in their lives. Let us be the ambassadors of God who share His care and philanthropy.
Let us seek the Lord with an open heart as the shepherds and wise men did. This means that we find opportunities for prayer and meditation, for reading the Scriptures related to Christ’s coming. This means that we can make Christmas a special day by participating in the Divine Liturgy and by receiving Holy Communion with reverence for God, with faith and with love.
To Christ Our Lord be glory, now and forever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
11th SUNDAY OF LUKE, Luke 14: 16-24
The parable of the Great Banquet, which we heard today in the Holy Gospel, was told by Jesus at the house of a Pharisee lord during a dinner in which he had been invited with others. He took the opportunity to teach this parable from the words of one of those who ate with Him: “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God” (Luke 14:15).
10th SUNDAY OF LUKE, Luke 13, 10-17
Many people today think of religion as a matter of feeling or emotion that simply helps them cope with the problems of life. That may sound appealing, but it is ultimately a perspective that limits God and takes away real hope. For Jesus Christ was not born simply to change how we feel about our broken world and lives. No, He came to restore and fulfill the entire creation, including every aspect of our lives as human beings in the image and likeness of God.
14th SUNDAY OF LUKE, Luke 18, 35-43
As Jesus was nearing Jericho, a blind man in the way called out:
‘Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me’. Jesus asks what he wants from him, and the blind man begs that he may be given his sight. Jesus says to him: ‘Thy faith hath saved thee’.
13th SUNDAY OF LUKE, Luke 18: 18-27
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
‘Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”’ The story of the rich young ruler is in all three synoptic gospels, and addresses a very important question that all of us must ask for ourselves to Christ: “What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” This is a very serious question from a man whom some of the Holy Fathers say is very sincere, and his question requires a serious answer.