All Saints for January 1


Why must one obey the Church and not some man whose thinking is opposed to that of the Church, eminent or intellectually gifted though that man may be? Because the Church was founded by the Lord Jesus Christ and is guided by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God. Also because "the Church" signifies the community of the saints, an orchard of choice, fruit-bearing trees. if a man remains opposed to the community of the saints, that means that he is unholy. Why, therefore, listen to him? "'rhe Church is an enclo-sure", says the wise Chrysostom. "If you are within, the wolf cannot enter, but if you stray outside, the wild beasts will get you . . . Do not wander from the Church; there is nothing more impregnable than the Church. She is your hope and your salvation. She is higher than the heavens, firmer than rock, wider than the world; she never grows old, but is forever renewing her youth."


Let me ponder on the Circumcision of the Lord Jesus, on: 1. His glory and heavenly Kingdom, where cherubim serve Him in fear and trembling. 2. His lowliness and humility in being circumcised for the sake of sinners. 3. 1 ponder in my heart how often I have circumcised Him by my sinful thoughts, vices and passions. HOMILY

-on how to depart from evil and do good.

"Depart from evil and do good" (Ps. 33:15).

In these words is contained all the labour wherewith we must labour upon earth-on this physical earth and in this physical body. What, then, is needful that this should be our labour? Let us strive to attain these two dispositions: firstly, to depart from evil; secondly, to do good. But our conscience does not tell us clearly what is evil and what is good, for it is darkened by sin; but the teaching of Christ is full and clear.

What does our Lord seek of us, my brethren? He seeks that, as our altars are always turned towards the east, so our souls may be turned towards good. Let us leave evil behind our backs, in the shadows, in the abyss of forgotten things, in the darkness of the past; while we, from year to year, from day to day, reach out towards good, think about good, desire good, speak of good and do good. The Lord seeks builders, not destroyers. He who builds good, by the same act destroys evil. He, however, who turns aside from destroying evil quickly forgets how to build good and becomes an evildoer.

"Abhorring that which is evil, cleave to that which is good" (Rom. 12:9), Christ's Apostle teaches us. Hate evil, but do not hate the evil-doer, for he is a sick man. If it is in you to heal the sick man, do not kill him by your hatred. Cleave to that which is good, and that alone, for good is of God, and He is the Treasury of all good things. O good and gracious Lord, teach us to depart from evil and do good, to Thy glory and our 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.


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