Thursday, June 10, 2021

Homily on the Day of the Ascension of the Lord (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)


By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin (1807-1869)  

"So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven ..." (Mark 16:19).

You, Christian listeners, after your death, do you want to go to Heaven, to the Kingdom of Heaven, where our Lord Jesus Christ is now? Of course, you say: We want this. What shows that you want this? Whoever wants something, thinks about it; but do we often think of Heaven? Whoever wants something, talks about it; but how often do we talk about Heaven? Whoever desires something, works for that, labors; but are we working for Heaven, are we laboring? Whoever desires something, asks God most of all for it; but do we ask God most of all for the Kingdom of Heaven when we pray? And now, have we come to the temple of prayer for the Kingdom of Heaven? Ah, listeners, in our life it is almost impossible to see that we want to be in Heaven.

What do we want? Where will we be after death? In the future life there are only two divisions, two places: Heaven and Hell, the Kingdom of Heaven and darkness, and, therefore, whoever does not ascend to Heaven after death will fall into Hell. Without a doubt, we do not want to be in Hell. May the Lord God deliver everyone from the place prepared for the devil and his aggression! So what do we want? What do we care about, why do we work, why do we worry? We don't know ourselves! Yes! Our life sometimes bears little resemblance to the life of rational beings, even less resembles the life of the followers of Christ. What kind of followers of Christ are we when we do not strive to where He, our Lord, is now? What kind of rational beings are we when we don’t want to ponder, to think about where we will be after death?

We may think about our salvation, want salvation, but to achieve it, we cannot without Your help to us, O Lord!

Christ Jesus, who ascended into Heaven, give me understanding by Thy grace, for I do not know what I am doing; and whether I want or not, save me, direct me on the path to Your Heavenly Kingdom. Amen. 


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