On March 27, on the Second Sunday of Lent, Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy in our parish temple.
Following the Gospel lesson the Rector preached a homily in Russian in which he addressed the topic of Christian endeavors needed for the cause of salvation. Fr. Igor said that on the Second Sunday of Lent the Church commemorates St. Gregory Palamas, a Church Father who became known for his writings about the divine grace, about divine energies and for his teaching that through the endeavors of piety a person is able to attain a similarity of God, to undergo so called ‘deification’ (theosis). Honoring of this Saint on the Second Sunday of Lent is not accidental, for during Lent we are called to the endeavors of piety. On this Sunday we also commemorate Venerable Fathers of the Kiev Caves who also are the examples of piety.
The Rector further stressed that it is pleasing that our parishioners performed renovations in our temple painting the walls and the ceiling of the church. They also engaged in an endeavor offering their time, strength and labor for our Parish. Thus endeavors can be different.
In today’s Gospel lesson (Mk. 2, 1-12) we also heard about an endeavor performed by the four men who brought a paralytic to Jesus. In order to reach Christ they had to get on the roof of the house where Jesus stayed and taught, to uncover the roof and to let down the bed with the paralytic. This reading from the Gospel teaches us to make efforts, to labor in performing the acts of piety. God needs our co-operation in the great work of our personal salvation. The Lord says, “The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (Mt. 11, 12). These important words teach us to make efforts, to spiritually fight for our salvation.
Fr. Igor also stressed that the struggle for salvation involves both our soul and our body. This is why in today’s Gospel lesson, the Lord took care of both the soul and the body of the paralytic. Jesus first forgave his sins and then healed his body.
Concluding his homily the Rector called the faithful to continue their endeavor of Lent, performing spiritual labor, making efforts of the soul and body for the cause of salvation and for the attaining of the Kingdom of Heaven.
After the Liturgy dismissal the Rector preached a short sermon in English addressing the main thoughts of his Russian homily.
The Rector also expressed his gratitude to our parishioners Vitaly and Andrew Malyshew for the renovations done in the church during the week before this Sunday, as well as to our ladies who helped to prepare the building for the renovations and for the cleaning of the church after the painting was done.
Following the service the Rector and parishioners enjoyed delicious Lenten meals and a nice company at the coffee hour.