On November 17, on the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost the Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy in our parish temple. Following the reading from the Holy Gospel he preached a homily in Russian.
In his homily the Rector stressed the importance of faith that was shown in the Gospel story about two miracles performed by our Lord Jesus Christ: healing of the woman with an issue of blood and resurrection of the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue. The woman suffering from the blood flow had a strong faith that Jesus is able to heal her, so she touched the border of His cloth. And the ruler of the synagogue was told by the Lord to have faith, so his daughter may be healed. Sometimes people tend to think that it is easy to receive what we wish from God if we simply say a certain prayer, venerate the miraculous icon or holy relics. But when they do not get what they wish, they may become disappointed and lose their faith. Christianity does not work as a magic. We need to be persistent in our faith and humble in our requests. Holy things like icons, relics, as well as Holy Sacraments, help us to become united with Christ, so we should use those means. The temple of God is a place where heaven and earth meet and where we can unite with Christ. But the temple is not some shop selling blessings or rendering spiritual and ritual services – it is a holy place where God is acting for us and inviting us to eternal life. Therefore, we need to keep and preserve our faith to attain eternity.
The choir prayerfully performed hymns dedicated to the Most Holy Theotokos during preparation for Holy Communion.
After the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector said a few words in English addressing the ideas of his Russian homily and made some announcements.