January 1, 2023

Homily Two on the New Year and the Circumcision of the Lord (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

We now have a New Year, and we have come to the temple of God to pray; what should we pray for now, what should we ask God for ourselves in the New Year? When we came to the temple of God, listeners, did you think about it? And you should definitely think about it. So, at least, let's talk now: what should we ask God for ourselves in the New Year, what should we pray to Him for now?

Here's what: so that the Lord God would help us start a new life from the New Year, live virtuously and not sin. It is necessary, listeners, we must take care of this. For many of us, the coming year may be the last year on earth, and perhaps none of us who are now in this temple will live to see the next New Year. So, many of our relatives, friends, acquaintances also thought, wished, tried to live until this year, but where are they now? However, let it be so that we will live on earth for a long time; what will we lose when we live virtuously? Not only will we not lose anything, but we will gain everything, save it, multiply it.

Yes, listeners, and our health will improve a lot if we live virtuously, for we are weak and sick almost more often than not because we lead an intemperate and vicious life. Most of our sicknesses come from sins or wear us out ffrom sins. Adam in Paradise, until he sinned, was healthy, and as he transgressed the commandment of God, he recognized the disease. If we live virtuously, then poverty will not burden us. Although poverty is not a vice, it is very often the result of vices. The holy King David said that in all his life he had not seen a righteous man left behind and his descendants asking for bread (Ps. 36:25). The righteous man gives and has mercy every day, but everything does not decrease from him. Just as the water does not decrease in the river, although it flows unceasingly, so the wealth of the righteous does not decrease, though he constantly squanders it. And what is wealth to the righteous? He is rich even when he is poor. A little is better for a righteous person than a lot is for a sinner. Yes, listeners, black bread is also sweet for those who get it by their own labors.

If we live virtuously, then we will not be in dishonor. The virtuous are respected by all; they are respected even by the most ungodly people. However, both dishonor and reproaches from others, what is there to fear for someone whose soul is pure and whose conscience does not reproach for anything? You can't please everyone. And if you start to please everyone, then, perhaps, you will offend God.

If we live virtuously, then we will not be unhappy in misfortunes, either we will soon get rid of them, or they will not be so painful for us. For good and sorrow have their sweetness; and it is a joy for him to suffer, at least not hard, who has a clear conscience. After a storm and bad weather, the weather is better, more cheerful; so after sorrows and misfortunes, the soul of the virtuous is still purer and calmer. If only one of you did not suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a villain, or as an encroachment on someone else's; but if you are a Christian, then do not be ashamed, but glorify God for such a fate (1 Pet. 4:15-16). In a word, if we live virtuously, then everything necessary for life will be with us and will be abundant. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, our Savior says, and all this will be added to you (Matt. 6:33), that is, just do not forget the main thing and live in truth, and what is needed, everything will come to be: there will be food and clothing, and housing.

Let us pray, listeners, now to the Lord God, that He will help us start a new life from this New Year, live virtuously and not sin, and not only now, but we will unceasingly ask and pray to Him for this. Amen.