Sunday, February 27, 2011

Concerning An Icon of the Last Judgment


By Archbishop Andrei Rymarenko

On the western wall of the Kiev Cathedral of St. Vladimir, remarkable for its murals, right over the entrance to the church is a wonderful representation of the Last Judgment. First of all, we are struck by the mass of people, their faces, eyes. and you have the vivid awareness that you are among them. Involuntarily, you try to find yourself, to determine your place according to your spiritual state. And within you occurs,as it were, a private judgment upon yourself. There are faces expressing terrible sorrow, a totally perished life trembles in them. There are others, full of malice, hatred, murmuring, envy, insatiable desires. Life passed on, but something is gnawing at them and will eternally gnaw at them.

But here, rays of light start to break their way through the enormous clouds, and they show us other faces: quiet, calm, joyful, happy. This is life! And the closer they are to the Throne, the more clear these faces are. And over the Throne shines the Cross. On the Throne is seated the Lord Savior of the world Himself, and around Him, John the Baptist, the Apostles, all the Saints are praying, triumphing. Here is harmonious rejoicing. Only one cry, one wail disturbs it. The Mother of God has fallen on the shoulder of Christ, and she alone is pleading for the salvation of sinners , for mercy for all those without hope. She alone has been given the power to intercede to the end before the mercy of God.

Dear brothers and sisters! Wherever you may be in this terrible picture, do not despair. You have not yet perished! There is our Mother. She is whispering for you, and it is doubtful that even the Almighty God can refuse her. She is the 'finder of all those who are lost'. Just believe in this, and warmth will begin to fill your heart; and a new hope will light up in it. Then love of the Wisdom of God will begin to reveal itself to you!
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