November 6, 2022

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

 Homily on the Seventh Sunday of Luke

By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

"Do not be afraid, only believe, and she will be healed" (Luke 8:50).

Many of you, listeners, noticeably care about pleasing God and saving your souls: you pray at home, go to the church of God, keep the fasts established by the Church, confess and partake of the Body and Blood of Christ - in a word, you try to live according to the teachings of the Orthodox Church. Meanwhile, you are often afraid, worried, tormented, agitated that you are not doing anything pleasing to God, that you will not be saved in any way - you are so afraid that you reach despondency, to the point that you are ready to abandon the whole work of salvation.

Do not be surprised if I tell you that such a restless, anxious, tormenting state of your spirit is hardly pleasing to God. Our God is infinite love, infinite goodness; He has an abyss of mercy, an inexhaustible abyss of mercy. He is pleased with everything that we do for Him, He accepts everything that we bring to Him, He remembers every word spoken about Him, remembers every thought addressed to Him, remembers every tear shed for Him, He remembers a drop of such a tear of ours. He is also pleased when we say before Him: “Lord! I don’t do anything for You, I don’t bring anything to You and I can’t bring anything, I am a sinful person, a weak person, a beggar, a poor man." Why suffer, worry about how we will save our souls when we do what God commanded us to do for our salvation?

Can you tell me why this anxious feeling occurs in us, this tormenting bewilderment about the salvation of the soul? Because we think that we will be saved by ourselves, we think that by our own efforts we must reach the Kingdom of Heaven, for our deeds alone we must receive eternal bliss! So we think in our lives, in our deeds we see, we feel, we realize that we are far from our salvation, that we are unworthy of the Kingdom of Heaven and are not ready, incapable of eternal bliss, and, realizing this, we suffer, worry, fear. He who trusts in himself, and not in God, can never be calm in anything.

No, do not rely on yourself, not on your strengths and efforts in the matter of your salvation, but on the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, on His help, on His mercy. Our business is to do the deeds of our calling, to work for our salvation, and only He, our Lord Jesus Christ, can save us. After this, why should we suffer to the point of weakness, worry to the point of despondency about our salvation, when it all depends completely on Jesus Christ? Can it be that Jesus Christ cannot, is not able to save us? And does He really think and care less than ours about our salvation? He came down from Heaven for our salvation, He shed His Blood on the Cross for our salvation. And now in Heaven, sitting at the right hand of God the Father, why does He intercede with His Heavenly Father? All about our own salvation. Why should we worry, with such an advocate for our salvation,

Therefore, try to live according to the teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church, mind your own business, work for your own salvation and - do not be afraid, do not lose heart, waiting for your salvation from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, from His help, from His mercy. Do not be afraid, Christian, do not be afraid, only believe in Jesus Christ, and your soul will be saved. Amen.