On November 25, on the 26th Sunday after Pentecost, the Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy at our parish temple. Following the Gospel lesson he preached a homily in Russian.
In his homily Fr. Igor recalled the recent celebration of Thanksgiving Day and said that we should be grateful to God for everything, including the gift of life itself. And our life can be compared to a journey, to a long way. On that road of life we meet different people and different situations, and we wish that we meet only good and nice people. If we do, we should be grateful to God for them. Very often Divine Providence does not act directly in our life but uses other people to help us. So in today’s Gospel parable about the Good Samaritan God acted through that compassionate person to help the man who fell among the thieves and was lying on the road half-dead. The Good Samaritan became the tool of God’s mercy.
Thus we should be grateful for such people in our life. And we ourselves should become those who help the needy, become the tools of God’s mercy and love towards other people. According to the today’s parable, we have three options. We may become the thieves and cause pain and suffering to others. We may also become indifferent to the needs of others like a priest and a Levite in the parable. But we may become compassionate and caring like the Samaritan. The latter is he right choice. So, we have to be grateful to God for His abundant mercy and gifts and we should also be those for whom others would be grateful.
During the Litany of Fervent Supplication the Rector proclaimed the petition of thanksgiving.
Following the Liturgy dismissal the Rector preached a short sermon in English conveying the ideas of his Russian homily. He also reminded the parishioners of the beginning of the Nativity Fast which starts on the next week and wished them a fruitful spiritual passing of that sacred time.
After the service the Rector and parishioners enjoyed delicious meals, including the Thanksgiving turkey. The toasts were raised to a good beginning of the future fast, to Fr. Igor who bears an important obedience of the Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes, as well as to our magnificent cooks who prepared such delicious dishes.