On December 10, on the 27th Sunday after Pentecost, Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy at our parish temple. On that day the Church celebrated feast of the Icon of our Lady of the Sign. The Rector preached a homily in Russian following the reading from the Holy Gospel.
In his homily the Rector interpreted the Gospel lesson assigned for this Sunday (Lk. 8, 10-16). He stressed that the woman who had been bent over for 18 years and who was healed by our Lord Jesus Christ is an image of the human race. The humanity had been bent over spiritually because of the condition called sin. Sin did not allow human beings to look at heaven. And in a physical sense mankind was suffering also because of sin, suffered infirmities and death. Citing St. Gregory of Nyssa the Rector pointed out that the humanity needed a Savior from that state. And that Savior, Redeemer and Physician came in Jesus Christ. However, sin still dominates over us if we give in and become slaves to our passions. Any sinful passion, any sinful habit deviates our soul and body, so they both suffer. Take any of them, for instance, drug or alcohol addiction: they ruin human life, bend it over, damage human soul and cause the body to suffer. Only divine grace can free us from such passions. We need grace, we need Christ. In the same way as He healed the woman in today’s Gospel, He may deliver us from our spiritual infirmity. To attain that we need to stay in the Church, which is a spiritual hospital.
The choir prayerfully performed hymns in honor of the Most Holy Mother of God.
After the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector preached a brief sermon in English addressing the main ideas of his Russian homily. He also congratulated our young parishioner and altar server, Anton Malyshev, on the occasion of his past birthday. Traditional Polychronion (“Mnogaia leta!”) was proclaimed. At the end the Rector welcomed our former parishioner, Anastasia Flora who had moved to Dominican Republic and came to visit us on this Sunday.