Many many thanks to all those who contributed to match a generous $3000 donation from an anonymous donor. The goal was attained this past weekend. It is because of people like you that the Mystagogy Resource Center can continue to offer unique material to all for free on a daily basis that I hope people find beneficial. For those who still wish to contribute, please do so, with much gratitude in return. God bless you all!

June 30, 2024

Homily for the Sunday of All Saints (St. John of Kronstadt)

 
By St. John of Kronstadt

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).


Now we celebrate the memory of all the saints who fought the good fight of faith and virtue on earth and moved on to heaven - to eternal peace and joy. The annual return to us of the present feast commemorating all saints is, brethren, nothing other than the many times repeated appeal of the departed saints to us, living on earth and struggling with the enemies of salvation for the sake of the future incorruptible kingdom, an appeal to follow in their footsteps. They tell us: "You, our younger brethren, strive without laziness for the future kingdom, just as we strived; let no obstacles stop you on the path to salvation, just as nothing stopped us; be courageous and firm in the fight against your lazy and sinful flesh, against the lures of a deceptive, fleeting light, against the machinations of the invisible enemy the devil, remember constantly that the kingdom of heaven is acquired through effort and only strong seekers will inherit it (Matthew 11:12), that it behooves you to enter into it through many tribulations (cf. Acts 14:22). We struggled much, endured much, and for this we now rest in eternal and indestructible peace. You will also endure much struggle: eternal rest will come to you also. Living on earth, we heard the words of our Savior and Rest-Giver: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," and with faith and hope hastened to His call, came to Him, endured all things for Him, and now have received from Him the promised rest; do likewise follow: He will give you rest in the bosom of His eternal love.

But what? While the Master Himself and all the saints unanimously call us to eternal rest, we barely or completely pay no attention to their unanimous invitation and become attached to the earth with all our might; – we become attached to covetousness, carnal pleasures, and the search for temporary honors. How few people there are who would always have the future life in their thoughts and strive for it with all the strength of their souls! The primordial enemy has entangled Christians in his net because of their addiction to the blessings of the earth and extreme inattention to the benefits of their souls - having bound their minds, imagination and hearts, so that they would no longer think or imagine or desire future blessings "which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor entered in the heart of man" (so they are superior to all that is subject to the senses), "the things which God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9). Thus he closed heaven from them and turned them completely to earth: on earth they seek all possible pleasure and bliss and all good things, and not in heaven, for which they were created and redeemed by the most pure blood of Jesus Christ. But there is no rest for the heart on earth: after a short period of bodily pleasure, the heart becomes empty, dull, languid – and this is because it was created for life in God and for the enjoyment of the pure, spiritual joys of the kingdom of heaven, and not for the earth and the enjoyment of earthly, perishing blessings. "In Me you may have peace" (John 16:33), says the Lord, i.e. apart from the Lord, there is no true peace of heart anywhere on earth. Let us not forget, brethren, to more often recall the end of the holy confession (symbol) of our faith: “We await the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come” and to kindle in our hearts the faith that the general resurrection of the dead will certainly take place and reward for each person’s deeds will follow immediately. "Behold, I am coming quickly," says the Lord, "and My reward will be with Me, to reward everyone according to his work. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city, i.e. to the heavenly city of Jerusalem (Rev. 22:12, 14).

Brethren! "Whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (James 4:4), says the Apostle James. Therefore, "do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever" (1 John 2:15–17).

Cling your heart not to what is visible, but to what is invisible: "what is visible is temporary, but what is invisible is eternal" (2 Cor. 4:18). Amen.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.
 

Become a Patreon or Paypal Supporter:

Recurring Gifts

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *