On March 4, on the Second Sunday of Lent, St. George Parish family gathered for a nice celebration. Following the Hours the Divine Liturgy was served by our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov. After the Scripture lessons he preached a homily in Russian.
Fr. Igor recalled that the Second Sunday of Lent is sometimes called “the Sunday of the Light-creating fasts”, and during the week preceding it the Church is praying for the enlightenment of the souls of faithful who fast. The darkness of our souls exists because of sin. And the enlightenment our souls need is in our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. A person who is suffering from certain sin resembles the one being in a dark room. He may easily hurt himself by any subject. In a similar way, any simple thing or simple product may cause a person harm if it is an instrument of sin. For example, God blessed wine, and we know wine to be a useful and healthy product, but if a person is possessed by the sin of drunkenness, wine becomes very harmful to him. It destroys one’s life. This can be seen in any serious sin.
When a person is possessed by a sinful passion, usually suffers not only soul but body also. Take the sin of anger: it may cause spasms in the stomach and lead to ulcers. It may also cause high blood pressure and lead to a stroke. Human soul and body are so connected that they may “catch each other diseases”, as one preacher said. This is why in today’s Gospel story our Lord Jesus Christ first forgave the paralytic’s sins and then healed him of his disease. That man’s sins were the cause of his paralysis. Probably, the reason of his sufferings was one unforgiven sin.
The light to enlighten our souls is coming from our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. This uncreated light was seen by the Apostles on Mt. Tabor during Christ Transfiguration. And certain holy people could see that light in their lives because of their spiritual endeavors. The Saint whom we honor today, on this Sunday, St. Gregory Palamas, was writing and preaching about that light and about a possibility to acquire it.
Fr. Igor called the parishioners to pray and to ask the Lord to enlighten our souls and lead us to salvation. He finished his homily citing the words of a known Church prayer: “Christ, the true Light, enlighten and sanctify every man who comes into the world…”
Following the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector preached a brief sermon in English stressing the main thoughts of his Russian homily. He also expressed best wishes to our parishioners Andrew and Anton Malyshev who returned from their trip to Europe, as well as to Natalia Tsyvilyova who offered a thanksgiving for an important achievement in her life.