April 22, 2024

Homily Fifteen on the Passion (St. Luke of Simferopol)

Homily Fifteen on the Passion

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered in 1954)

The holy head with the crown of thorns sank low onto his chest...

This head was beaten with sticks, and the sharp thorns pierced it deeply. Blood dripped and flowed down his face onto his parched lips. It's still dripping...

For what?! For what?!

Because the mouth full of righteousness rebuked the chief priests, the scribes, and the Pharisees. Also so that this mouth would be silent and not dare to rebuke again. So that the great truth of God, pouring out of Him, would not overshadow the truth of the Old Testament and would not interfere with the authority of the leaders of the people, who were alien to the truth.

The holy head was stained with the blood of the crown of thorns; they beat it with sticks to kill the brain that showed the world the path of salvation.

The hands, which did so much good and miracles, which opened the eyes of those born blind with their touch, and raised the daughter of Jairus and the son of the widow of Nain, are nailed with rusty nails.

For what?! For what?!

So that no more miracles would be performed, for as the enemies said: “If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”

The feet of the Savior and Messiah were nailed with terrible pain.

For what?! For what?!

So that they no longer walk on the waters of the Sea of Galilee, and do not rush to help everyone who asks for it. Nailed for showing us the path of righteousness, and truth, and life.

From the nailed feet of the Savior, blood flowed onto the foot of the cross and watered the ground beneath it. “One of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear. And from came forth blood and water.”

For what?! For what?!

Why was Jesus’ heart pierced?! Was it because it was full of divine love that embraced the whole world?

Is it not to finally confirm the joy of the devil, who triumphed in victory over the One who was supposed to trample on his head, and now hung helplessly on the terrible cross, covered in blood?

A sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, a sacrifice for the salvation of the world, hangs before you on a terrible cross... Could there be a more terrible sight! Can there be, at the same time, a sight so majestic and joyful for us, saved from eternal death by the Blood of Christ?

Will we ever forget this spectacle?!

Will we forget the drops and streams of the blood of Christ?!

Let us cry out with all our hearts to our Savior who suffered so terribly: “Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on us, sinners and accursed ones, guilty of Your death!”

Will not drops of the blood of Christ pour out hot streams of tears from our eyes when we look at the cross of Christ, when, with the words of the symbol of faith : “He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate,” we will remember this horror every day. Amen.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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