10th Sunday after Pentecost

On August 12th, on the 10th Sunday after Pentecost priest Igor Tarasov, Rector of St. George’s Church celebrated the Divine Liturgy in our temple.
After the reading from the Gospel Fr. Igor preached a homily. He pointed out that the child described in the Gospel was really tormented by a demon, and was not just mentally ill. And the Scripture tells us that the evil spirit forced him to fall into the fire or into the water. “The falling into fire and water show us how the demons abuse God’s creation. Fire is not a tool with which to burn and kill, but a gift of God for heating and cooking. Water is not a tool with which to drown, but a gift of God for drinking and washing. We bless the water in the church and we baptize the babies in the water immersing them, and, of course, not drowning them”.
Fr. Igor continued: “We may wonder how did the demon get inside the man’s son and possess him? And our Lord Himself answers that question saying that it happened because the people are often a “faithless and perverse generation”. Our unbelief lets the evil one to overcome us.”
“A cure to such a spiritual state is a two-edged sword of prayer and fasting. Our Lord tells us that in today’s Gospel. And as St. Theophan the Recluse wrote: ‘Where there is no prayer and fasting, there are the demons’. Referring to the word of St Theophan, we could say therefore that much of the modern world has become the dwelling-place of demons. It seems that each day that passes brings us news of some new instability, some new disaster and misfortune”.
“The fact is that, whenever we are faithless and cease to pray and fast, then we lose the protection of the grace of God and we are besieged by demons and the world falls into fire or water. For instance, sometimes we can hear that terrible crimes happen in small towns. These are the places where nothing could ever happen.  In Russia before the Revolution people said the same thing, but holy men like St Theophan the Recluse, St Ignatius, St John of Kronstadt and many others, all correctly prophesied that if people did not return to faithfulness, to prayer and fasting, then a great disaster would befall them. And so it happened and Russia became the favorite resort of the demons: ‘Where there is no prayer and fasting, there are the demons’. Even today, although Christian faith is being reborn in Russia, a lot of people still do not believe. And in this country, in the United States, we are losing faith more and more. If we do so, terrible things like shooting in the movie theaters or other crimes happen where they never been seen. Let us thus be faithful and practice prayer and fasting” – said Fr. Igor.
After the Liturgy our parishioners enjoyed a common meal with the church Rector.