On July 15, on the 7th Sunday after Pentecost, as well as feast of the Placing of the Precious Robe of the Most Holy Mother of God, St. George Parish held a beautiful celebration. Our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy.
After the readings from Sacred Scripture the Rector preached a homily in English. He reflected upon the Gospel lesson about two miracles performed by our Lord Jesus Christ (Mt. 9, 27-35). The first miracle described in the reading was giving sight to the blind men who begged Jesus to heal them. The Lord asked whether they believed that He is able to perform such a sign, and the blind men said, “Yes, Lord”. Here we see how important is our faith. If we wish that God would act in our lives, we need a firm faith in Him. That faith cannot be limited to a statement, a declaration. If we are asked whether we believe in God, we answer, “Yes, I do” but we also need to live by that faith. Our faith must be active and be fulfilled in our deeds. The blind men did not only believed but they proved their faith by following Jesus, by begging Him, by crying, by being persistent. Thus we need not to limit ourselves by declarations but to live a life of prayer, fasting, repentance, to receive the Sacraments, to attend the church.
The second miracle in today’s Gospel lesson was healing of a mute and demon-possessed. Here Jesus did not ask him about his faith. But the mute and possessed man could not speak and answer for himself. But the Lord saw the faith of the people who brought that poor man to Him. In the same way, if we are unable to speak for ourselves, the Church does it for us. It happens, for instance, when the little babies are baptized and later brought to the church for Communion. Yesterday the Holy Synod of our Church made a historical decision to bless an office of praying for the deceased unbaptized children. This is the case when those poor souls cannot ask for themselves but we as the Church can pray for them although they were not baptized, but never committed any sin. This decision was long-time waited by the Church because we had to refuse to hold public prayers for those children.
The Rector concluded his homily by asking the parishioners to keep and practice faith and to adhere to the Holy Church.
The choir nicely performed hymns in honor of the Most Holy Mother of God before Holy Communion.
Following the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector preached a brief sermon in Russian addressing the ideas of his English homily.