Sermon by Bishop Luke on Great and Holy Friday
Sermon by Bishop Luke on Great and Holy Friday

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Holy is the Lord our God!
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal have mercy on us!
These and many other prayers and sacred writings characterize God as holy and the source of holiness.
The salvific struggle of the Son of God is completed, “In the grave bodily, but in Hades with Thy soul as God; in Paradise with the thief, and on the throne with the Father and the Spirit wast Thou Who fillest all things, O Christ the Inexpressible.”
Time and place disappear in the Grace-filled experience of the Body of Christ, the Church and the life of Orthodox Christians. However, God choose to be born in the flesh and to truly suffer and die so that He could work out our salvation though things of this world, beginning with His flesh and Blood and continuing to sanctify us through everything the Church offers us. He beckons us to receive into our bodies, to venerate, to touch the shroud before us, the incense we breathe, holy water, blessed salt, sanctified palms and pussy willows, myrrh from a streaming icon, our personal prayers, the sign of the cross, the struggle for virtue, the battle with sin, the endless invisible and visible means by which our Lord desires to commune with us and make us holy.

Dearly beloved  brothers and sisters, piety is Orthodoxy, holiness in life, in everyday life where we commune with the Holy Spirit, Who is the Giver of Life, not death. Beware lest we fall into a carnal purely natural worldly understanding of these mysteries, which God has ordained, for our salvation. Empty religious forms will not satisfy our spirit and we will then seek pleasure and satisfaction in the passions, in endless worldly distractions, neo-idol worship. Be careful not to shake the simple hearted faith of those little ones among us by disinfecting the sacred, the Lord warns us about this.  Yes it requires unshakable faith to move mountains, but our Creator tells us it is indeed possible. As we continue to repent, to grow in Christ, let us pray earnestly to God to forgive us for our weak faith, that He ever increase our faith so that we might put away sin, triviality, carnal thinking of the natural man, and enter into that which we are called, a life in the Holy Spirit, a spiritual life, and exclaim with St. David, “Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me but give me the Joy of Thy salvation!”



Holy and Great Friday 2019
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Holy Trinity Monastery
1407 Robinson Rd.
PO Box 36
Jordanville, NY 13361
Telephone: (315) 858-0940
FAX: (315) 858-0505