Second Sunday of Lent

On March 31, on the Second Sunday of Lent we had a celebration at St. George Church. Priest Igor Tarasov, our Rector served the Divine Liturgy.
During his sermon which followed after the Gospel lesson Fr. Igor preached about sin. He pointed out that in today’s Gospel story our Lord Jesus Christ, before He healed the paralytic, forgave him his sins. It is important to obtain forgiveness of sins.
Fr. Igor said that contemporary world almost lost a concept of sin. “These days, few people think of their personal actions or of their intentions in terms of righteousness or wickedness. Even among us, the Christian believers, the notion of sin is not fully understood. We all like to think of ourselves as the “sinners”, but not in the sense of our unworthiness in the eyes of God, but in the sense that we are not “holy”. And if we are not holy, then we cannot, and do not have to be righteous.”
“Our Christian morality is revealed to us in love. God is Love … A person abiding in God for the sake of love, bears the yoke of the moral law, the law that is born out of love, exists because of love and leads to the realm of love.
“Therefore, the sin against the Christian moral law is not a formal violation of the supreme will, but a sin against love.That is why, in the words of the prayer before Communion, to sin means to grieve the Holy Spirit.
“A loving son, not fulfilling the will of his father, is not so much afraid of the failure to fulfill the father’s will, but he fears that he had sinned against the union of love, that he introduced a dishonesty, a lie into this union of love between the father and his son. Adam, when he sinned, first of all, has disappeared from the face of God, because he defiled the bonds of love and was ashamed to appear before the eyes of the Divine Truth.”
The same attitude may be seen in some modern Christians who are so naïve to hope to combine the service of God and to their own whims. They often think that “the Lord is good … He will forgive everything, He will cover everything. I killed nobody, I robbed nobody, and all the rest are just small sins… “
“Remember, dear brothers and sisters: God is a jealous God … He often overwhelms you, often throws you between a rock and a hard place to test the power of your love. But He will never open Himself to you if you are indifferent and if you will serve Him with a cold heart and a cold soul. He won’t  show His Countenance to you if you will be looking for the ways to serve Him in a way most convenient and profitable for you.
“Beware of the sin … Know that the sin is, above all, a desecration of your heart’s sanctuary, the expulsion of God from the human soul.” – said Fr. Igor.
Following the Liturgy parishioners enjoyed our common coffee and refreshments.