December 25, 2022

Second Homily for the Day of the Nativity of Christ (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

 By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

"What shall I repay the Lord for all His good deeds towards me?" (Ps. 116:3).

We now remember two great blessings of God to us: the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior, and the deliverance of Russia, our fatherland, from the invasion of the Gauls with twenty nations.

This we do in the church of God, this we do all together. How should each of us individually honor this feast? What, then, outside the church, can we bring to our Savior for His good deeds to us?

What our Lord Jesus Christ loves most in us is that we should bring to Him gratitude. But the Savior Jesus Christ loves our salvation more than anything; He was born for our salvation, lived for salvation, taught for our salvation, suffered for our salvation, died and rose again for our salvation, ascended to Heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father - everything is for our salvation, everything is concerned about salvation, He intercedes for everything about our salvation.

So, whatever we do for our salvation, we bring the most pleasant gratitude to the Savior. And He does not need sacrifices from us if we do not keep ourselves from sin, and He will not accept petitions if we forget our salvation.

Therefore listener, do something for your salvation, pray for your salvation, talk about your salvation - this is the most precious thing for your Savior. Keep yourself from sin, do not think about sins, drive away sinful desires from yourself, run away from sinful deeds; this is an honorobkle offering from you for the feast of Christ, the most pleasant for your Christ.

But, while keeping yourself from sin, keep others from sin as well, take care of the salvation of your neighbors, pray for their salvation, do something for their salvation.

However, this is not one thing, but everything - the Savior will gladly accept from you in gratitude, everything that you do now for your neighbor: a glass of water, a piece of bread, and a kind word to your neighbor - all this will be pleasant from you as a sacrifice for the Savior.

And if you offend, disturb, humiliate, anger your neighbor, you thereby offend your Savior, who values your salvation more than anything. Whatever you do for the Savior, whatever you sacrifice to Him, everything will be unpleasant for Him if you have done something unpleasant to your neighbor, if you have not endured trouble from your neighbor.

Christ our Savior! All that is ours is in Thee and all is from Thee: we ourselves are nothing, and we have nothing of our good; nothing of our own but our weaknesses, our sins. We must thank You for everything, but we cannot thank You worthily without You. Thou Thyself enlighten us, illumine us, save and preserve us, and fill our lips with Thy praise. Amen.