Getting Ready (Translated from the Macedonian)~ The Rev. Dcn. Igor Kalinski, OPI

Matthew 11:2-11

Beloved family and friend in Christ our LORD, we start the new liturgical year with Advent season, very special season for me. As we are in the end of this year and preparing for the next, is a blessed opportunity as we remind of the color purple and violet, that we are passing through penitential time, time for reclusive, and contemplating, how we passed, what we’ve missed during last time in behind, how good and how bad we treated those that we have seen, meet or those that have approached us for help or just asked us for a company and chat, so to easy the life of solitude and emptiness.

I have two neighbors’, one an elderly, that lost his wife  half year ago, and now he is feeling lonely, and how joyful he is when  I go to visit him, talk to him and drink coffee together, make warm company, talk to them, and show them attention.

This season of awaiting the coming of our LORD in the earth, is a time when we can throw our old habitats, and reflect of how this energy, spending can bring even to one lonely person  or forgotten from the society, that is worth, with showing our affection, share anything good with them, we can imagine are a many ways how to testify our Gospel into action.

Let us  prepare dear brothers and sisters for the Coming pf our Redeemer, in flesh, let us think of modesty, humility, not of wasting of things that satisfy only for a moment, but in charitable works that will lasts forever.

This penitential season is a lent in byzantine rite and penitential in the western rite, the vestments of the priest and deacon or bishop, the violet or purple, the candles with same color violet remind us to reflect of both, the penitent preparation of ourselves, and that purple color is royal, Jesus is King of Kings and lord of Lords.

For such solemn occasion, we should encounter in the beggar, in our poor neiughbour, in the elderly living alone, with our joy, our Christian attitude, with our action, we will find Jesus in them. If we approach closer to them, if we share our time with them, listen to their needs, hear their problems, family tragedies.  We could be the lampstand that brings that joyful light of Jesus to the gentiles, the world, to them mankind, to our neighbours, with that we will encounter Jesus.

Let us brothers and sisters, strive to sacrifice our money, our skills, our time for those that have none close to them, let us show them that they are accepted and loved by us and appreciated.

Saint Gregorio Palama have said: “The whole work of His coming in peace, for this He bowed the heavens and came down”

Lets humbly ourselves, so the grace of God came to rest withis us, the Prince of Peace coming in flesh, Word Incarnate. We need to put oil in our lapm, because we don’t know the time of His coming, we need to be vigilant, so the attacks from this world will not shake our expectation eith patient as the todays gospel for the return of our Lord as He promised He will.

While in this world that God gave us this time for preparation for the eternity, we study we examine  our conscience, we try to put in our daily routine, all that we read to put in action to those that will need our help.

Most historic event of the Incarnation of the Word, unite us his Bride the Church to celebrate Gods plan to reveal to us through his Son Jesus Christ. He will come again in meantime, we witj contrite hearts to find Him in those that need someone to show them that they are not forgotten, because if we forgot our neioghbours, we forgotten on Jesus.

This Advent Season with those in hospital, hospices, those that day and night don’t see anyoe, and only possibility could be us, showing them love and charity.

Lets brothers and sisters renew ourselves, to clean old bad and negative habitats and strongholds, ands trive to achive peace humility, love and forgiveness, to not forget the beggar that God show us in our daily walk. Amen

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