Sermon of Archpriest Boris Ustimenko, 06.12.20

Dear brothers and sisters. This week is dedicated to the feast of the “Introduction of Mary to the Temple”. Today we also celebrate the holy blessed Prince Alexander Nevsky.

These days the Church celebrates Mary’s Initiation into the Temple. An initiation is the entrance of a child into the Church. People bring children to church and they, who do not yet understand everything that happens in church, feel that there is something here that they do not see in the world: Shrines, icons, through which they see into the spiritual world. Children feel a sacred place especially. Just like the Holy Virgin, who was once brought to the church by her parents Joachim and Anna. They were childless and decided to consecrate their child to God after they had already become parents in their old age. Thus, the Blessed Mother lived in the Church, where she was taught prayer and ecclesiastical obedience, as well as manual labor. She practiced manual labor to decorate the Church of God and thus serve the Lord.

These are the stages of purity that every woman should strive for. And we are not just talking about convents and renouncing everything, but about a woman’s pious life in the family. It is important that women do not gather in different groups to discuss other people. You can discuss, but you must not judge them.

One must be especially wary of fighting for the purity of the church, with which sometimes even bishops are tempted. But the word of a bishop, as with any layman, should be the same: “I am a great sinner.” Therefore, the Church is always a multitude of sinners, and not a covenant of the righteous. The Church is pure only because God is holy. And the greater sinners people are who come to church, the better it is for the priest, because a repentant sinner is much more precious than 99 righteous ones before the Lord. Therefore, there can be anything in the Church, but the most important for us is this: “Grant me, Lord, to see my sins.” Following the example of Our Lady, who entered the Church without judging anyone. We do not come to Church to expose people, but to expose and educate ourselves.

It is also important to note the danger of complacency. Today we read in the Gospel how a rich man wanted to fill his granaries to the brim with an abundant harvest so that his soul would sing and rejoice for many years. But that night he died. And to whom does his wealth remain, especially if the man was lonely? It turns out that he toiled in vain. That is why the Lord tells us to gather our wealth in heaven. Of course, it is necessary to have what is necessary for life, because each of us has a family to take care of on this earth. But apart from that, we must always gather wealth in heaven. We have forgiven someone – already we have put a penny in the “heavenly piggy bank”. Those who show mercy to people on earth build a palace in heaven. Not everyone can serve as wealth, but everyone can serve with what is given to him. One must thank God for everything and contemplate the holy image of our Blessed Mother, who in purity had the honor of entering the Church of God. Amen.

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