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January 4, 2023

Homily on the Coming New Year (St. Kallinikos of Edessa)


By the Grace of the Lord, we are at the beginning of the New Year. Behind us is the past and before us is the future. We were thinking a lot. We learn many lessons. It would be incomprehensible and completely unjustified, for reasonable people to arrive at stations in life, without conclusions.

Being at the beginning of the new year of the Lord's Goodness, we must carry out a double duty in the most serious way, the duty of Gratitude to God and Trust in Him.

Gratitude to our God and Father for the past year. During this year, the goodness of God bestowed upon us many good things. Let's not forget the apostolic words: "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). In His divine presence and goodness we live and move and exist. All good things are from the gift-giving God.

Certainly during the past year we experienced pleasant events, such as the precious goodness of health and the necessities of life. Perhaps individual or family problems were resolved in a good and pleasant way.

It is possible that we also experienced unpleasant events. However, they passed and now we see that "in vain" we were disturbed. The good God put an end to the ordeal.

It is still possible that the events were very sad. We may have experienced painful illness, accidents and misfortune, deaths of loved ones and other such sorrows.

And again we should be grateful to the Holy God, because all sad events educate people. "For whom the Lord loves, He chastens, and scourges all His children, whomsoever He receives" (Hebrews 15:6). For the one whom the Lord loves He disciplines with sorrows, and He scourges with trials every child who accepts Him to be beside Him as one of His own.

"Glory to God for all things" said Sacred Chrysostom, before giving up his spirit.

Trust in God, this is the other duty. With trust in God we will greet the new year.

Many question marks are looming over the new year. Will it really be new or like the past? Will it be better? Will it get worse? Will it be like last year? Will we have pleasant events or unpleasant ones?

We don't know what will happen. However, we know that there is a Providential God. There is a God who cares for the birds of the sky, for the flowers, for things of low value, and much more for man, created "in His image and likeness." There is a God the Father, Who gave the right to the descendants of Adam to address Him and say "Our Father who art in Heaven." There is a God of Love, Who loved sinful man to the point of sacrificing His Son. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16) to die on the cross dishonorably for the salvation of man.

There is a God who is the ruler of the universe. There is a Lord of hosts. Above principalities and powers is the almighty Lord. People forget God, not infrequently they despise Him, even fight Him. "He who dwells in heaven laughs at them and the Lord holds them in derision," according to the Psalmist. He who dwells in the heavens, the almighty and righteous God, will tease them and mock them, make them a laughing stock before everyone.

Brethren,

Our life on earth is short. Let's not shorten it and poison it with thoughts of anxiety and despair. Above us all is the loving and almighty Hand of God the Father. Whatever happens, whatever takes place, the Lord will allow it. With trust in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, let us march through the new year. Let us base our hopes on God the Father, that "He cares about you" according to the apostolic words (1 Peter 5:7).

"So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace," (Acts 20:32) and I wish that the new year of the Lord's Goodness is healthy, fruitful, blessed, peaceful, holy.

With warm paternal blessings,

THE METROPOLITAN
Of Edessa, Pella and Almopia
KALLINIKOS


Source: From the book ΕΚΦΡΑΣΗ ΠΟΙΜΑΝΤΙΚΗΣ ΕΥΘΥΝΗΣ, publications by the Metropolis of Edessa, Pella and Almopia. Translation by John Sanidopoulos.