Saturday, April 20, 2019

Christ as Resurrector and Life-Giver (Homily of St. Nikolai Velimirovich)


By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

"I am the Resurrection and the Life" (John 11:25).

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke these holy words. Not only did He speak them, but also proved them by His actions. By raising Jairus's daughter, the son of the widow of Nain, and His friend Lazarus, He proved that He is the Resurrection and the Life, the Resurrector and Life-Giver. Even so, He proved this best by His own Resurrection from the dead. For, to be alive and then to help the dead - this is something that has been heard of. But to be dead and buried, and lie in the grave for three days and to give yourself life - that was unheard of until Christ's Resurrection. It is the miracle of miracles, and the proof of a power above every other power. This miracle was performed by our Lord. Our Lord manifested this power. Therefore, true are His words, "I am the Resurrection and the Life," - true and holy, and comforting to all of us who are traveling toward the inescapable death of the body, and who hope to live beyond the grave and see our Living Lord in glory.

However, our Lord is not only the Resurrector of the body, but also the Resurrector of the soul. During His life on earth, He resurrected only a few human bodies, but countless souls - to demonstrate that the resurrection of the soul is much more important than the resurrection of the body. Almost all human souls were dead when He came into the world, and He resurrected countless souls by His power, and imbued them with His life. Both the Jews and the pagans were dead in soul, and He enlivened the one and the other.

My brethren, let us lay aside all concern for the resurrection of our bodies, and let us strive, while we still have time, for the resurrection of our souls. For if our souls do not resurrect, and are not enlivened by Christ while still on earth, let us not expect any joy from the resurrection of our bodies on the Day of Judgment, the Day of Wrath. For then the bodies of our dead souls would rise, not unto life, but unto eternal torment.

O Lord Jesus Christ, our only Resurrection and life, help us by Thy power and Thy mercy, that we may be resurrected and enlivened by Thee, unto salvation and eternal life. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

From Prologue, Sept. 18.


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