All Saints for February 7


St Isidore of Pelusium interprets certain words from Holy Script-ure: `Of two grinding grain, the one shall be taken and the other left' (Matt. 24:41), to mean that many will give themselves to the spiritual life, but with very different dispositions; one sincerely and steadily, another slackly and conceitedly. The first will be taken into the Kingdom of God, and the second left. What is the meaning of the Lord's prayer about the Cup? Why did the Lord beg that the cup of suffering should pass from Him (Matt. 26:42)? It means that no-one should seek danger, but that, when it comes, a Christian must accept and endure it courageously. On the five foolish virgins (Matt. 25), St Isidore says: `They all kept their virginity, but had no other virtues, such as that of compas-sion. Virginity by itself is not sufficient for entry into the Kingdom of God. Virginity is of no use if the virgin is filled with pride and selfeeking.


Let me ponder on the Lord Jesus as the sower: 1. As the sower whose seed grows slowly but surely. 2. As the sower of new knowledge, new strength and a new order. 3. As the sower of new spiritual food, by which the human race will be fed till the end of time.


-on the narrow-minded, in whom evil-doing excludes the love of God.

'Ye seek to kill Me, because My word hath no place in you' (In 8:37).

Why could the word of Christ have no place in the Jewish elders? Because they were so utterly filled with wickedness that there was in them no room for the divine seed, the divine tidings. All that grew in their souls was of the devil's sowing, of antichrist. And so they sought to kill Christ. God speaks thus through the blessed Psalmist: `Empty yourselves, and know that I am God' (Ps. 45:11). One must first empty oneself of all that is opposed to God; that is, of all that hinders the abiding in us of the light of the knowledge of God. When a man thus empties himself, then and only then can he understand that God is God. While a man fills his soul with thoughts, feelings and desires that are opposed to God, he cannot listen to or accept words about God. He in whom God does not abide acts by some infernal impulse in order to uproot God from the soul of him in whom lie does abide. 'Ye seek to kill Me.' Why? Because not a single divine word of Christ's wits able to find shelter or welcome in their godless hearts. Having not a thing in common with Christ, the Jewish leaders could not, from the beginning, have any friendly relations with Him.

O Lord Jesus, our gracious Saviour, help us to empty ourselves of every sinful seed within us, that Thy holy word may make its abode in us. May it illumine us and strengthen us, and bring us to resurrection. 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.


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