November 21, 2023

Homily Two on the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos (St. Luke of Simferopol)

Homily on the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos

Young Leaves of a True Grapevine

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered in 1956)

Christ said: "Without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Those who do not believe in Him may be indignant and say: “Oh, really, without His help we do not create great things, political and social, scientific and technical!” But they don't understand these words at all. He spoke about something completely different: about holy and righteous deeds, pleasing to God and blessed by Him, about difficult obstacles on the path to the kingdom of heaven, which can only be overcome with His Divine help.

This is the only way to understand the words of the Apostle Paul: "I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13). Of course, he was not talking about matters of earthly construction, but about matters commanded by His Heavenly Teacher. But in order to receive these grace-filled powers, to achieve spiritual perfection, one must be branches of the True Grape Vine, always be in complete unity with its root - the Lord Jesus Christ, and its trunk - the Church of Christ, feed on their juices, so as not to remain sterile, not to be cut off by God the Husbandman or to wither and be thrown into the fire, like the sectarians who, out of pride, separate from the Orthodox Church.

This is necessary for both adults and children, these smallest branches, young green leaves and tender buds appearing on this Vine, which we care about and love as our hearts. And a heavy responsibility before God lies on those Christians who do not fulfill their sacred duty to protect their children from hostile winds that could tear them away from the vine of Christ and carry them far into dust and dirt, where they will be trampled by the enemies of the highest truth and goodness.

Saints Joachim and Anna, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, understood this well, and only the first three years of the life of the Little One, chosen by God to serve in the incarnation of the Son of God, did they enjoy the great joy of close communication with Her and ardent love for Her. But when She was three years old, they tore Her away from their hearts and brought Her to the Temple of Jerusalem to leave Her there to be raised by God Himself.

And not only Joachim and Anna dedicated the fruit of their pure marriage to God. Both before and after them, holy and wise mothers did the same, whose names you, today’s mothers, should remember. During the time of the Judges, a barren wife, righteous Hannah, in a fiery prayer asked the Lord to give her a child and promised to give him to His service. The Lord heard Hannah's prayer, and she became the mother of the great prophet Samuel. Like her, Saint Martha, the mother of the Venerable Symeon the Stylite, dedicated her son to God even before birth. In his early youth, Venerable Symeon ascended the pillar and remained on it until death, like an unquenchable and unflickering candle before God.

Remember, pious mothers of our time, how great and holy is your duty to raise children in the fear of God, in inextricable and unceasing unity with the True Vine - our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. Only then will your children learn the Law of God if you yourself diligently listen to it in holy churches, learning from the servants of God - priests and bishops.

May the all-powerful prayers of the Most Holy Theotokos help you before God. Amen.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

Become a Patreon or Paypal Supporter:

Recurring Gifts

Contact Form


Email *

Message *