All Saints for February 4


Take on yourself some penance for the sin of others. If you have condemned or punished another, take some penance on yourself. Suffer a little, voluntarily, for the sins of sinners. That is pleasing to God. The saints knew this mystery when they condemned them-selves for the sins of others. Even non-Christian peoples have some grasp of this; in China, for instance, there is the following custom: when the executioner beheads a criminal condemned to death, he goes to the judge and reports that the sentence has been carried out. The judge gives him a silver piece for killing the criminal, and orders that he receive forty strokes of the lash for killing a man. The Chris-tian saints had a profound understanding of the mystery of sin and the unrighteousness of man. Each human sin had for them a history as long as that stretching back from us to Adam.


Let me ponder on the Lord Jesus as joy: 1. As the joy that enlightens the whole human spirit. 2. As the joy that activates and strengthens in man all his capacity for good. 3. Joy in His name, His words, His acts and His inspiration.


- on the good fortune of little Zacchaeus.

`Today is salvation come to thy house' (Lk. 19:9).

Thus spoke He whose words are light and joy, and the renewal of the righteous. As lowering mountains are clad in green and covered with flowers at the breath of spring, so each man, however plastered and mired with sin, becomes refreshed and rejuvenated by the near-ness of Christ. For Christ's presence is like that of some life-giving, scented balsam which restores health, increases life and gives savour to the soul, the thoughts, the words of a man. In brief, dis-tance from Christ means corruption and death, and closeness to Him means salvation and life.

`Today is salvation come to thy house', says the Lord as He enters the home of Zacchaeus the sinner. Christ is the salvation that comes, and Zacchaeus is the house to which He comes. Each of us, my brethren, is a house in which sin dwells while Christ is afar off, and to which salvation comes as Christ draws near. Whether Christ is able or not to draw near to my house and yours depends on us. You see that He did not force an entry into Zacchaeus's house, but came as a warmly-invited guest. Little Zacchaeus had climbed up into a tree, to see the Lord Jesus with his own eyes. He had sought Him, desired Him. And we must seek Him in order to find Him, and desire that He draw near to us, and climb up high in spirit to meet His glance. Then He will visit our house as He visited the house of Zacchaeus, and bring salvation with Him.

Draw near to us, O Lord, draw near, and bring us Thine eter-nal salvation. To Thee be glory and praise for ever. Amen.

* From "The Prologue from Ochrid", by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic - Lazarica Press - Birmingham 1985
Four Book Edition - Translated by Mother Maria - Dates based on old church calendar.
Please see our calendar for conversion between old and new calendar dates.


[More Saints on February 4 | More Saints in February]


Return to Serbian Orthodox Church - Home


Copyright © 1999-2000 All Rights Reserved.