November 21, 2021

Homily Two on the Entry into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

Angels, having seen the entrance of the Most Pure One, were in awe.

When I remembered the Entry into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos, it occurred to me that we were going to the temple of God. How the holy angels must be in awe when they see some Christians entering the temple of God. Ah, listeners, some of us come here sometimes with such anger and bitterness in our souls that we, unworthy ones, cannot help but wonder how they come in like this, stand like that and remain so angry, spiteful. In our temple of God, God is present by His grace, the All-Gracious, Almighty God, and therefore there is so much of everything that is holy, sanctifying, rejoicing, consoling, that, it seems, it would be impossible for an evil and spiteful person not to calm down, not to leave behind their anger and bitterness.

So, what does it mean that some Christians in the temple of God do not cease to be angry and bitter with others? This means that they forget that God is invisibly present in the temple of God. Standing here, they do not think about God, do not pray to Him, or, praying, signing themselves with the cross, venerating before icons, they do not have Him in their thoughts at all and do not turn to Him at all with their hearts. Yes, that's right. That we can get angry and bitter is, of course, understandable. It is clear that we will be born with a tendency towards anger, towards evil; but it is absolutely incomprehensible, one might say, unnatural, how it is to stand in the temple of God, in this dwelling place of God’s peace and not to calm down, not stop being angry, to pray to God, the God of love, and not to subside, not to forget anger!

It is one of two things: either, by standing in prayer, you immediately cease to be angry, spiteful, or you do not have God in your thoughts at all when you pray. He who opens his eyes to the light is illuminated, and who turns his soul to God, he certainly calms down. Sometimes you can't help but get angry at something else, but you can't help forgetting evil when you remember God and pray to Him, the All-Good, the Almighty. As from the cold, our soul trembles, and God, like the sun, always warms it up.

What should I do when I cannot help being angry, cannot give up my bitterness? Leaving all worldly care, you must turn all to the All-Good and Almighty God. When you pray to God with all your heart, especially when you pray to Him in the temple of God, you are so pleased, peaceful, calm, calmed down with the grace and mercy of God, that you forget everything, you stop getting angry with a person, no matter how much he does you harm. Anger and evil are remembered only by timid people, afraid for themselves, dissatisfied with themselves, restless in spirit.

Remember, listener, why you are angry and bitter: because you do not pray to the All-Merciful and Almighty God, or you do not pray from the heart. And remembering this, do not forget that both Angels and people are amazed that you, even in the temple of God, do not leave behind your anger and bitterness at others. Amen.