Homily for the First Sunday of Luke – A Return to the Depths (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

Beloved brethren,With at present’s Sunday begins a protracted interval within the Church, throughout which passages from the Gospel of the Evangelist Luke will probably be learn each Sunday and this can occur till the Sunday earlier than the Nativity of Christ.

The Gospel written by the Evangelist Luke has some particularities that distinguish it from the opposite Gospels, as a result of it reveals extra of Christ’s love for the poor, the despised, girls, youngsters, sinners, and it has a common character inside it, because it reveals the curiosity of Christ in each Jews and Gentiles. A medical terminology can also be used, because it comes from the Evangelist Luke, who was a physician by occupation.

In at present’s Gospel studying, the calling of the primary Disciples is offered as a theme, and this was carried out on the event of the miraculous catching of the fish. The fishermen hadn’t caught any fish all night time and had been washing their nets. Christ entered one of many ships belonging to Simon Peter and started to show the individuals. As quickly as He completed his educating, He instructed Simon Peter to return to the depths of the lake and solid the nets once more. Simon Peter, as a result of he knew as a fisherman that this might not have a consequence, raised an objection, however lastly obeyed and picked up many fish. This stuffed him with awe and Christ referred to as him and the sons of Zebedee, James and John, to observe Him, because it occurred.

Therefore, this “return to the depths” that was stated after He completed his discourse is of nice significance. That’s the way it ought to be for us with a distinct, in fact, which means. We discover in our days that all the trendy life and exercise of man strikes externally, man’s consideration stays on the floor.

First of all, an intense sensuality prevails, a satisfaction of the senses with the enjoyment of delight. Everywhere the picture, the information, info and delight dominates. A “digital actuality” dominates our life, which is a false and illusory pleasure. Happiness can also be related to sensuality. In one of the best of circumstances, individuals take care of the logical processing of ideas, phrases, pictures, which is characterised as logicocracy (solely give attention to logic) which is related to creativeness (fantasy).

Of course, we can’t reject the world of the senses and logic, however we can’t cut back them to authorities, by isolating them from the entire lifetime of man. The senses are one factor and sensualism is one other; logic is one other and logicocracy is one other; proper purpose is one other and rationality is one other.

Unfortunately, this preoccupation with the floor can also be noticed in church life. We are overly involved with what’s seen, we just like the exterior decorations, the exterior actions, which known as activism, and we’re not involved with the depth of our life which is within the thoughts, within the coronary heart, in God, in our salvation, in our everlasting future. Therefore, the phrases of Christ “return to the depths” have a variety of which means in our days.

First of all, it have to be emphasised that Christ stated these phrases when He completed his discourse, which suggests we hear and skim the phrases of Christ and the saints. And that is needed in an period the place individuals’s arguments, from varied instructions, distract us and disorient us. Thus, after we preserve the commandments of Christ and our thoughts begins to pay attention from the confusion of its wandering within the smart and imaginary world, then we are going to enter the depth of our soul. Then we are going to hear Christ’s phrases to observe Him and turn out to be His disciples, that’s, disciples of the Kingdom of God.

“Return to the depths” means to begin considering appropriately in keeping with the desire of Christ, since we’re Christians, to continuously have good ideas, as a result of from these good ideas will come religious well being, we are going to postpone autonomy, hopelessness, despair, unhappiness.

Then, “return to the depths” signifies that now we have to do a self-examination inside ourselves to see in what state our soul is. Just as with a view to discover the reason for varied ailments of the physique we do all the mandatory examinations, in the identical means we should study ourselves with self-knowledge, self-examination within the spirit of repentance.

Also, “return to the depths” means to search out the place of the religious coronary heart, the place God dwells. This is completed by praying to God, with the Jesus Prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me” and with all of the custom that our Church has, which is characterised by a hesychastic, philokalic and neptic life.

Because individuals don’t actively take part on this inside contest, that’s the reason they undergo from ache, struggling, unhappiness, melancholy. And a few of them find yourself in medicines, tranquilizers and medicines, and others find yourself in strategies of Eastern philosophy and faith, which at their base are, as they’ve been characterised, “psycho-narcotics”.

Unfortunately, we, the Orthodox Clergy, theologians and monastics, are additionally answerable for the truth that, whereas now we have in our Church a wealthy neptic and hesychastic custom which helps on this “returning to the depths”, we neither realize it nor train it, so many Christians both stay within the exterior, hedonism, sensuality and with what this entails for religious, psychological and bodily well being, or they search this inside calm in alien traditions that contain them in different adventures. We should discover a approach to observe Christ’s phrases: “Return to the depths”, with a view to discover our misplaced self.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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