On November 26, on the 25th Sunday after Pentecost, as well as feast of St. John Chrysostom, we had a beautiful celebration at St. George Church. Our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy.
After the Scripture readings the Rector preached a homily in Russian. He addressed the parable of the Good Samaritan contained in the assigned Gospel lesson and pointed out that this parable reveals for us the mystery of eternal life. We need to show mercy, love and compassion to inherit eternal life. We need to help those who need, regardless whether these people are our friends or enemies. Unfortunately, people are divided and prejudiced. And we are much more capable of persecuting others. Commemorating St. John Chrysostom we should recall that he was persecuted at the end of his life – persecuted not by some pagans, heretics or atheists, but by Orthodox Christians and his fellow citizens. Being a good shepherd of his flock and an honest preacher, Holy Father John was hated by the powerful elite of Constantinople. He was exiled and died far from home because his enemies forgot the attitude of Good Samaritan, but lived by sinful desires. Christ teaches to see our neighbor in everyone who is in need, even in an enemy. If we are not going to have hatred in our hearts, we will be along with God, and God will be with us, thus we are going to have eternal life.
The choir prayerfully performed the hymns dedicated to St. John Chrysostom during preparation for Holy Communion.
Following the Liturgy dismissal the Rector preached a brief sermon in English conveying the main ideas of his Russian homily. He also wished everybody a good beginning of the Nativity fast which starts in two days.
After the service the Rector and parishioners enjoyed delicious meals including fish soup, pelmeni and turkey continuing celebration of the past Thanksgiving Day in parish environment.