December 5, 2021

Homily on the Tenth Sunday of Luke (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

"And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, 'Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity'" (Luke 13:12).

In one of the Jewish synagogues, Jesus Christ taught the people on the Sabbath. There was a woman who had been afflicted by an unclean spirit for eighteen years; she was twisted and could not stand up straight. Jesus, seeing her, called to her and said: “Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity." And he laid his hands on her, and she immediately straightened up and began to praise God.

Jesus Christ Himself therefore found a woman possessed by an ailment, He Himself found her, He Himself volunteered to give her help. So we, the listeners, must always do the same: not only must we help others in need, we must ourselves look out for and seek out those in need of our help. We should especially do this on feast days. These holy days are sacred by deeds of mercy. If you go to church for a feast, bring a gift to the altar, but you won't help those in need - you will not have a complete feast yet.

Thus, when a feast comes, then, having prepared what is necessary for yourself and for your family, see if you have someone in need from your family: our relatives all have the right to our help first. If you don’t find such a thing in your family, then see if any of those living near you are in need: for this reason God lodges the poor near us, so that we can help them. If you do not find anyone near you to whom you could help, then go out into the street, into the alleys, and look there if there are any beggars, crippled, blind, lame. If you are so unhappy that you will not meet anyone here either, then ask God to send you such a person to whom you could help for the feast.

Yes, listeners, those who need our help are sent to us by God. The mercy of God to us opens up for us when we show mercy to others. The beggar, the poor, asking us for help is an ambassador to us from God who has mercy on us. Thus, to run away and hide from those who ask us means to run away and hide from God's mercy to us.

So we will always, especially on feasts, try to look out for and find those in need ourselves. He who does not make a feast for others, the same cannot have a feast. Provide a feast to at least someone, at least a little something, and you will have a feast. If the Lord would have vouchsafed you to help all those in need, both his own, and strangers, and neighbors, and distant ones, oh, then you would have a feast, a celebration of celebrations! Happy in life is he who has the means to make others happy, who can help and really helps everyone who needs his help; such a person has a feast every day and triumph at every step.

I know, pious listeners, that many of you would be glad to give help to others in need, if you had the means to do so. May the Lord God give you this joy - to help those in need. Amen.