December 25, 2021

Homily Two on the Nativity of Christ (St. Luke of Simferopol)

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered in 1953)

What are we celebrating on this great day? What happened one thousand nine hundred and fifty-three years ago? A small sprout emerged from the land of the holy blessed womb of the Most Pure Virgin Mary. He descended on the God-sanctified land of Palestine and took root in it. An extraordinary vine has grown from it.

And it was necessary that 30 years passed until it rose in all its might, and wonderful bunches grew on its branches, giving all peoples their juice to drink.

This was possible only because our Heavenly Father Himself was the grower of this Vine.

He cut off every barren branch, and cleansed the branch that bears much fruit. He cut off the wonderful bunches and squeezed out their juice.

The pomace became the relics of the saints, and fermentation began in the wine, which transformed the whole life of people drunk with Divine wine.

The altars and temples of the pagan gods have fallen, and the cross of Christ will be erected in their place.

The carnal impurity of the pagans, which had reached its limit, was replaced by chastity and purity. Rough, cruel morals softened, and many of those who were nourished by the grapes of the Vine shone with humility and meekness, previously unknown to the world, greed and thirst were exchanged for truth, mercy and holy love.

Hundreds of thousands of martyrs, intoxicated with the divine juices of the Vine, endured the most severe torments and fierce death for Christ, Who was the root of the True Vine.

Years and centuries passed ...

And the Divine Vine continued to grow, and its wondrous branches finally covered the whole earth.

They were covered with countless wonderful bunches, and the intoxicating wine of fiery faith, love and hope will water the whole Christian world to this day.

This is how the whole life of mankind changed from a small sprout that emerged from the purest womb, on this blessed and great day of the Nativity of Christ.

Let us all be fruitful by God the Father Himself, the purified branches of the True Vine.

May the terrible fate of the withered branches, which the Divine Vine-grower cuts off, not befall any of us. Let us drink insatiably the wine of the word of God. Amen.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.