May 2, 2024

Homily on Great Wednesday (St. John of Kronstadt)

By St. John of Kronstadt

Brethren! This day is the day of betrayal towards the suffering and death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Faithful souls know how to appreciate and feel the greatest self-sacrifice for our salvation, that of the Lord and friend common to all of us!

From this day forward, guard your heart in the most careful way for Him alone, and do not let anything worldly, corruptible, or any passion take possession of you.

Prove that you also know how to respond to love with love, that you are true Christians, and out of love for Christ you can watch with Him, that is, watch over your heart, even for a few hours, in which He alone drank the cup of heavenly wrath for us.

Bring Christ the Lord, who suffers for us, into your hearts by faith, suffer there - in your heart with Him.

Bring your sins to memory, lament, and, if you can, weep for them.

“Weep for yourselves” (Luke 23:28), says the Lord.

Send your sighs and tears to Christ: and this will be the most pleasant sacrifice to the Lord who suffers for us: you will soon feel in your heart His favor towards you because of your heartfelt gift: “peace” in the soul, “surpassing all understanding” (Phil. 4:7), and heavenly, quiet joy will tell you that your sacrifice of a contrite and humble heart has not been humiliated, but has been accepted by the Lord into His heavenly and noetic altar.

Having cleansed yourself from sins this evening in the mystery of repentance, if anyone has not yet cleansed yourself before, tomorrow you will be worthy to partake of His body and blood: may this supper of love unite you with Him who commanded it to be celebrated in His remembrance, may it always remind you of His boundless love for us, and may He give you the strength to spend the coming great days in holiness, in the spirit of fiery love for the Lord, who laid down His life for us. Amen.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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