April 10, 2023

Second Homily for Palm Sunday (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

"To you, the Conqueror of death, we cry."

Last night, during the all-night vigil, with palms and songs, we triumphed and rejoiced in our Savior, Jesus Christ, as the Conqueror of death. Jesus Christ conquered death. What kind of death did he conquer? People all die, and Jesus Christ Himself died. So what is death? In addition to physical death, there is also spiritual death. From bodily death, the body dies, it is separated from the soul, decays in the earth, turns to dust. From spiritual death, the soul dies, is separated from God, although, as an immortal being, it does not decay, but remains forever. But this is worse than destruction - it remains forever in darkness, does not see the light, does not feel joy, and from this mourns, suffers, sorrows; like a thirsty one without a drink, she suffers, like a hungry one without food, she suffers.

Joy and gladness are the life of the soul, sorrow and despondency kill the soul, but do not destroy it, because the soul, as a spirit, cannot be destroyed. Spiritual death is eternal death. Yes, to suffer forever, to grieve forever, to sorrow forever - that is the death of the soul; to be eternally away from God, in darkness, without any joy, without any gladness - that is spiritual death. It was this spiritual death that Jesus Christ conquered, that is, by His death He made that spiritual death have no eternal right over us. Although even now, during life, we can die with our souls, we are deprived of light, we are separated from God, we lose joy, we do not dare to rejoice, but we can come to life again, we can again unite with God, see the light, enjoy gladness and joy.

Yes, listeners, there is spiritual death, there is eternal darkness, there are eternal sorrows, there is an indestructible worm, there is unquenchable fire, there is eternal torment. But if there is eternal torment, then there is a Savior who saves us from these torments; if there are sins for which sinners will be tormented forever, then there is a Savior who will save sinners from these sins. These truths are closely linked. Whoever rejects the eternity of torment will thereby reject the coming of the Savior into the world. If there were no eternal torment for sins, then why did the Son of God come to earth, why did He have to suffer, die? Are you, listener, afraid of eternal torment after death? Be afraid, but do not be discouraged, do not lose heart. If you have sins that subject you to eternal torment after death, then you also have a Savior,

You will say: I cannot but sin, I cannot resist passions, I cannot destroy sinful inclinations in myself, I cannot leave sinful habits. What should I do? What does one do who cannot do anything on his own? He asks someone who can help him. And what did the apostle Peter do when he began to drown from fear? He called out to the Savior: "Lord, save me." Do the same, ask the Savior to help you be saved from sins, to help you resist passions, destroy sinful inclinations, and leave sinful habits.

The Savior knows that on your own, without His help, you cannot but sin. The Savior would not have come to earth if you yourself could be saved from sins. Yes, here is the clearest proof for you that it is impossible for you to save yourself; if it had been possible alone, then the Savior would not have descended to earth, He would not have had to come to earth to save the human race.

Strong are sinful passions in you, strong are sinful habits in you, strong are the temptations of the world for you, strong are sensual pleasures over you, it is impossible for you to save yourself from sins. But the power of your Savior is a thousand times stronger than all your passions. The purity of His holiness in one minute will wash away all your sinful filth. It seems impossible to you that you could live without sins; but why do you forget to imagine that you have a Savior, for whom everything is possible, whose power is omnipotent, who can make you holy, even if you are like ice, cold to everything holy. Who can make your heart pure, kind, even if it were like a stone, indifferent to everything good and impure, like filth itself?

All power is in the Savior, and you will use all His power if you will only ask. Thus, the whole power of your salvation is to ask the Savior more strongly for help. You will never perish, you will not die an eternal death, if you only ask for the salvation of your Savior, the Conqueror of death.

Therefore, let the sign of the victory gained by the Savior over eternal death be for us, listeners, a sign that we will not die in sins, we will not die eternal death. Our Savior will save us, if only we do not cease to rejoice in Him, the Conqueror of death, with palms and songs, with faith and love. Amen.

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