Friday, March 25, 2022

Homily for the Day of the Annunciation (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)



 By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

On the day of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos, I, as the pastor of the church, on behalf of God to you, Christians, children of the Orthodox Church, announce that you will be saved through Jesus Christ, inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, you will rejoice in paradise with the Angels, be blessed with the saints. Listen more attentively to this gospel of God: through Jesus Christ you will all certainly be saved, you will certainly inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, you will certainly rejoice in Paradise with the Angels, and be blessed with the saints. Oh, I am glad every day, every hour, to repeat this gospel to you.

Does your heart, Christian listener, rejoice at this gospel? Or are you still perplexed and, thinking to yourself, say: how can this be? How can I, the weak, be saved? How can I, a sinner, inherit the Kingdom of Heaven? How can I, the unclean, be in paradise, rejoice with the Angels, be blessed with the saints? Why are you embarrassed, what are you perplexed about? Jesus Christ by His grace will save you; Jesus Christ, out of His love, will make you an heir to His Kingdom of Heaven; Jesus Christ, by His grace, will lead you into paradise to rejoice with the Angels, to be blessed with the saints.

Why are you embarrassed, what are you perplexed about? Answer with all your heart, as the Blessed Virgin once answered the gospel of an angel, answer: Wake me according to this gospel; I believe with all my heart that I will be saved through Jesus Christ, that I will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven through Him, that I will enter Paradise with him to rejoice with the Angels, to be blessed with the saints. You, apparently, still do not understand, do not know what power faith has? After all, as soon as you say: I believe with all my heart that I will be saved through Jesus Christ, the grace of the Holy Spirit will immediately descend on you, and you will feel a change in yourself, your salvation will already begin in your soul; you will begin to behave in this way, you will begin to think, and desire, and feel, as it should be for those who are being saved, as it is fitting for the heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven, as it should be for all those who are preparing in Paradise to rejoice with the Angels, to be blessed with the saints.

You, apparently, still do not know what power faith has? Before the angelic gospel, the Blessed Virgin Mary not only could not think that she could give birth to the Savior, but she did not even dare to wish for it. She, as tradition says, considered it for herself the greatest bliss to be the slave of that Virgin who had to give birth to the Savior; but when an angel appeared to her and said that she would conceive and give birth to the Savior, and when she accepted this gospel of the angel with faith, immediately, at that very minute, the Holy Spirit descended on her, the power of the Most High overshadowed her and she conceived in her womb.

Why are you embarrassed that you are perplexed about your salvation, you, a Christian? You will say: Yes, this is impossible, I don’t even dare to think that I will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, that I will be in paradise, that I will rejoice with the Angels, that I will be blessed with the saints. Impossible? That's why it seems impossible to you, that's why you don't dare to think that you don't have faith in Jesus Christ your Savior. Yes, you do not have faith in Jesus Christ, the Savior, and that is why it seems impossible to you that you will be saved through Jesus Christ, your Savior.

Without faith in Jesus Christ it is really impossible to be saved; whoever does not have faith in Jesus Christ will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, he will not rejoice in Paradise with the Angels, will not be blessed with the saints. Begin to believe - and you will conceive salvation, and it will seem possible for you to be the heir to the Kingdom of Heaven, and you will shed tears of joy that you can rejoice with the Angels in Paradise and be blessed with the saints. Whoever has faith and is baptized, that one will be saved, our Savior Himself said. He will be saved, that is, he will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, he will rejoice with the angels, he will be blessed with the saints.

What are you embarrassed about, what are you perplexed about? Come closer to the icon of the Savior, look at His holy face and say, say only: I will be saved from my sins through You, my sweetest Jesus - say this, and those tears will flow from you that wash our sins, and you will exclaim in joy: I believe Lord, help my unbelief.

So, Christian listeners, believe, believe with all your heart that we will be saved through Jesus Christ, that we will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven through Him, that we will enter Paradise after Him and will be there, in His love for us, rejoice with the Angels and to be blessed with the saints; believe this gospel yourselves, and proclaim this gospel to others.

Perhaps someone will ask: where can I get this faith if I don't have it? How can I believe with all my heart when I cannot believe like this, and what should I do when my faith often weakens?

How did the Blessed Virgin Mary believe that she would conceive and give birth to the Savior? Through the gospel of an angel. As soon as she heard the gospel of the angel, she immediately believed. And you, listener, have an angel of the evangelist - the Holy Orthodox Church.

Listen to the gospel of the Holy Church about your salvation - and faith will be born in you and day by day it will grow and strengthen. It is because you have no faith, or your faith is weak, because you either do not listen, or rarely listen to the words about your salvation, preached by the Holy Church, or, perhaps, because the time has not yet come for salvation to be conceived in your soul. Do not stop listening to the gospel of the Holy Church, and sooner or later faith will be born in you, and you will certainly be saved. In the gospel of the Holy Church always lies the power of salvation, the power of grace; but this power is not always and not all of a sudden assimilated.

Thus, listeners, let us listen to the gospel of the Holy Church and obey Her gospel - and we will hear about our salvation, and we will believe in our Savior, and we will learn salvation, and we will be saved, we will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, we will rejoice with the Angels, we will be blessed with the saints. Here on earth we will have many occasions to rejoice and be glad.

Listening now to the gospel of the Holy Church about You, Mother of God, Mother of our Savior, we rejoice; hear our joy. The Archangelic voice cries out to You, Pure One; rejoice, blessed one, the Lord is with you. Amen.
 
 
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