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On hearing the word of God

A wondrous sight is described to us by the holy Evangelist Luke in his Gospel. The Lord stands on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and a great multitude of people surrounds Him. Everyone hurries to come near Him, everyone tries not to be too far away from Him, – for what reason? – in order to hear the word of God. Those people lived just as we do, in different walks of life, were engrossed in earthly dreams and activities, wanted more from life than was good for them. But suddenly an opportunity arose to hear the work of God, and their hearts flamed with a different desire. They surrounded the Lord and pressed upon Him so closely that He had to enter a ship, distance Himself slightly from the shore, and from there preach to those who thirsted for His teaching.

Why do we, dear brethren, listen so feebly to the word of God, – the word that is so necessary to our salvation?

Perhaps we are already too well-acquainted with the word of God, so that it is not worth listening to anymore? That is hardly likely. It is unlikely that any one of us can demonstrate more than a superficial knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. Many of us, perhaps, truly know a lot, are well-versed in all kinds of subjects, but at the same time we are in a very poor state if we do not know the only thing needful, i.e. the word of God. Apostle Paul says: think of the heavenly and not the earthly, because all earthly treasures, including the treasures of the mind, will not go with us into eternity.

Some say that they do not listen to the word of God because they find it boring. However, the word of God is a source of comfort for our souls, a source of joy for our hearts, a source of light for our minds. The word of God enlightens and sanctifies us – how can it be boring?

The reason for our indolence, dear brethren, lies in ourselves, in our passions, in our indifference to the salvation of our soul. The words that I have said to you are the spirit and the life, – thus spoke the Lord Himself of His own words: His words give us life, without which we cannot live; His words fill us with spirit, without which our soul is only earth and flesh.

Let us then follow the people listening to the Lord on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, so that our hearts, too, become aflame with sweetness and tenderness from the salvific word of God. Amen.

 Father Rostislav Sheniloff

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