April 19, 2024

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

Homily Thirteen on the Passion

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on March 9, 1952)

Twenty centuries have already passed since the great teaching of love was preached by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thousands of millions of people called and call themselves Christians, but God! How many of them are only nominal Christians, who in fact are always guided not only by the law of love, but by the law of violence and blood. Countless, like the snowflakes of a long snowfall, are the violence of the strong against the weak. Blood has flowed and is being shed by these Christians in name only.

When light rain drizzles for a whole week, it only causes annoyance, but if torrential rain ever pours down in torrents, then everyone will shake and shudder.

Everyday, ordinary atrocities worry us little, and only a huge stream of monstrous atrocities, similar to what the Americans and their allies are doing in unfortunate Korea these days, made the entire good part of humanity shudder.

But we need to talk not only about atrocities in Korea.

Let us remember that thousands and thousands of people who were completely innocent of the crimes attributed to them were executed on the scaffold and guillotine and sent to hard labor. And this is scary, this shakes our hearts.

But all the crimes and atrocities of the world are nothing compared to what the Jewish high priests, Pharisees, scribes and elders did to Him Whom the whole world was not worthy of, to Him Who created the whole world - to the God-Man Jesus, the Son of God, Who took on human flesh for the sake of saving a dying world.

The low envy of the hypocrites, who reigned supreme over the Israelite people before Jesus Christ, towards the Great Wonderworker, who was followed by huge crowds of people; hatred of Him, whose glory threatened to eclipse their insignificant glory; the stupidity of the guardians of the dead letter of the law prompted these greatest villains of the human race to remove Him from their path. They did not dare to openly attack Christ, for they were afraid of the people, and they vilely seized Him under the cover of the darkness of the night on the Mount of Olives.

They seized and in vicious hatred spat in the face of the One who was the light of the world, the sun of truth, the beginning and source of love, Divine love; with vile hands they beat Him on the cheeks, before whose gaze the demons trembled and fled from Him in horror.

They were betrayed into the hands of Pilate, who was much better than them and tried with all his might to avert the execution of the righteous man.

The vile threat of denunciation to Caesar forced him to leave the path of righteousness and hand over Jesus to be scourged.

Do you know what Roman flagellation is?

Under the blows of the terrible Roman scourges, the Divine Blood flowed in streams and pieces of the flesh of the God-Man were torn off. It was precisely because of this terrible torture that He was unable to bear His terrible cross and fell under its weight. The executioners had to force Simon of Cyrene to bear the cross of Christ.

They came to Golgotha and planted a cross in the ground, lifted Jesus up and nailed His hands with iron nails.

Can you hear this?! Those hands were nailed with nails, one touch of which healed thousands of the sick and raised the dead.

Those feet that walked on the waters of the Sea of Galilee and went through all Palestine, carrying everywhere the holy preaching of love and light, at the first call for the healing of the suffering, were nailed down.

Can you imagine what terrible pain Christ experienced for six hours from the stretching of the nerves of His hands, on which hung the entire weight of His body, and the wounds from the nails were torn apart under this weight?

Well, when a person with a kind heart first hears about this most terrible of all the atrocities of the world, even taken together, will his heart really not shudder with convulsive pain? Isn't he going to bleed? Is it possible that the stunning picture of the execution of the Savior of the world will not be forever imprinted on his brain, and the cross of Christ will not be written on his heart?

And this is forever. And it's indelible. And a person who has accepted the cross of Christ in this way will not be able to forget about it.

He will forget about the whole world, but never about the cross of Christ. He will stop immediately and follow the path that Christ showed him.

And there is no number of those people whose hearts were pierced by the cross of Christ, there is no number of those who, for the sake of the cross of the Lord, despised everything in the world, went away from the world into wild deserts and forests and there lived with one thought about Jesus, who with His blood atoned for the sins of the whole world and showing a path completely different from that wide, rough path along which huge millions of people strive, crushing each other and pushing each other out of their way.

Will we ever forget about the terrible cross of Christ and not follow Him along the path of goodness and truth, for the sake of which He willingly ascended this cross to show us?

Willingly, I say, for you heard what He said to the apostle, who cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant with a sword: “Or do you think that I cannot now ask My Father and He will present Me with more than twelve legions of angels?”

Let us all go en masse to the thorny and narrow path, to the path of suffering for the name of Christ, which is inevitable for us according to His word. Amen.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

Become a Patreon or Paypal Supporter:

Recurring Gifts

Contact Form


Email *

Message *