Home page News
Metropolitan Hilarion: We can always show compassi…

Metropolitan Hilarion: We can always show compassion for people

On 29th November 2020, the 25th Sunday after Pentecost and the commemoration day of St.Matthew, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Moscow church ‘Joy to All the Afflicted’ icon of the Mother of God on Bolshaya Ordynka. Clergymen of the church assisted the archpastor.

During the Prayer of Fervent Supplication, petitions were offered up over the threat of the spreading coronavirus infection.

Metropolitan Hilarion lifted up the prayer recited at a time of the spread of a pernicious epidemic.

After the Liturgy, His Eminence Hilarion delivered a sermon:

“In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit!

Dear reverend fathers, brothers and sisters, I congratulate you on the feast day and Sunday.

The Nativity Fast has begun yesterday, and we continue our spiritual journey to the Bethlehem Сave where our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has been born for us.

The Church is preparing for the Nativity of Christ for forty days during which we are called to ponder on the meaning of the Incarnation for the whole humanity and for each of us.

There is no more helpful book for the preparation for this event than the Gospel according to Matthew. It is not fortuitous that we commemorate St. Matthew on the second day of the Nativity Fast. We recall the evangelist who has told us about the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, narrated precious details of the beginning of Jesus Christ’s earthly life and the Sermon on the Mount, as well as many parables taught and miracles performed by the Son of God, and – along with the other three evangelists – he told us about the Passion, Death on the Cross and Resurrection of the Saviour.

If you find some spare time today, read the Gospel according to Matthew from beginning to end. If one day is not enough, take a few days. May St. Matthew remind us of the events to which the Nativity of Christ is dedicated.

Today we have heard the parable of the Good Samaritan. Our Saviour said it when talking with a lawyer who asked him a question: ‘Which commandment in the law is the greatest?’But Jesus Christ made him answer this question himself.

It often happens that we put a question to the Lord, and He as though asks us ‘What do you think yourself? Don’t you know it yourself?’ Sometimes we ask God very naïve questions, but the Lord does not answer them because He wants us to find the answer by ourselves.

Where should we look for the answer? First, in the Holy Scriptures, which gives us answers to many questions. Second, in the Tradition of the Church and in the writings of the Holy Fathers. Third, in our life and in the events through which the Lord talks with us, revealing His will. Most important for us is to be open for hearing the will of God.

The lawyer answered Jesus’ question about the greatest commandment and asked the Lord: ‘And who is my neighbor?’ (Lk 10:29). The Lord could have asked him: ‘Who do your think is your neighbor?’ Most probably, the lawyer would have answered that his neighbor was the one belonging to his nation and religion. What else could it be? That was the Old Testament perception of the neighbor. The lawyers had excluded from neighbors all those who belonged to other nations or other religious traditions. Moreover, the lawyers had contempt for such people, treated them as enemies and despised them, even those who were keeping the faith, for instance, the Samaritans, who believed in One God, but did not go to the Temple of Jerusalem to worship, and in lawyers’ view their faith was not pure. To call a man ‘a Samaritan’ was the greatest offence. When the Jews wanted to offend Jesus Christ they said: ‘You are a Samaritan and have a demon’ (Jn 8:48). They could not find more insulting words.

Answering the lawyer’s question about the neighbor, the Saviour told the parable of a man who was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers who beat him and went away leaving him half dead. A priest and a Levite, full of their own affairs, were going down that road and saw the stripped and injured man. The Old Testament teaches not to touch corpses not to be defiled, and they thought: What if this man is dead and I will be defiled touching him. It is better to pass by on the other side, and let someone else help him.

And seeing this unfortunate man was a Samaritan, a man who according to the strict Judaic law was not a true believer. The Jews thought that the Samaritans had distorted the Scriptures, and their faith was not what it should be and their blood was not what it should be because they have mixed the clean Judaic blood with the unclean Pagan blood. But it was the Samaritan who has shown compassion for his neighbor, mercy which anyone passing by should have shown in accordance to the law of God.

The Samaritan bandaged his wounds, put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, told the innkeeper to take care of him and gave him money to do it. It was the Samaritan who had been merciful to this suffering unfortunate man.

By the parable of the Good Samaritan the Lord tells us that religiosity is expressed not only in the compliance with certain rules, but first and foremost in our attitude to our neighbours. If we adhere to all rules, keep the fasts, pray in the morning and in the evening and do anything prescribed and necessary, but have no love of our neighbor in our heart, then how can we say that we love God? ‘Those who say “I love God, “and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen ‘(1 Jn 4:20).

Our religiosity and our faith should find expression in our deeds. Every man who needs our help no matter whether he asks for it or not is our neighbour. A man who fell among thieves did not ask for help. He was lying half-dead, and the Samaritan who was passing by heard the voice of his conscience and came to this unfortunate man’s rescue. The Lord praised him for that and told us about him thus giving us an example to follow.

The neighbor is the one who needs our help and compassion now, the Lord says. We may have no opportunity to render him material aid, but we always can help him spiritually, to comfort him with kind words, show compassion on him, and say something that would make his spirits rise.

Let us listen to Gospel lessons which the Holy Church is offering us every day and stay in tune with Gospel. Let us ask the Lord to help us show our love of God and our neighbors and to go along the way to the Nativity Fast with dignity.

Take care of yourselves, your near and dear, and may the Lord keep all of you.

Share:
Commentary by the Communications Service of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate on the interview given by Pope Francis to the Italian publication Corriere della sera.

04.05.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s talk with Primate of Serbian Orthodox Church

27.04.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates Paschal Great Vespers at the Church of Christ the Saviour

24.04.2022

Paschal Message of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to the archpastors, pastors, deacons, monastics and all faithful children of the Russian Orthodox Church

23.04.2022

Holy Synod members discuss the issue of rendering aid to refugees and suffering civilians in Ukraine

25.03.2022

Holy Synod considers it important that the Russian Church’s stance on the crisis in Ukraine be brought to notice of the heads of non-Orthodox Churches and inter-Christian organizations

25.03.2022

Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church meets under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill

24.03.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: The main thing in a person's life is their relationship with God

20.03.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s address to the Supreme Church Council on March 18, 2022

18.03.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairing a meeting of the Supreme Church Council

18.03.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill had a talk with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

16.03.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia talks with Pope Francis

16.03.2022

Patriarch’s homily on the Sunday of Orthodoxy at Christ the Saviour Cathedral

13.03.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill sent a letter to the Acting General Secretary of WCC in connection with the events in Ukraine

10.03.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill holds a conference with leaders of several church establishments

10.03.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion meets with leaders of a major inter-Cristian humanitarian organization

13.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk visits Exarchate of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem in Cyprus

13.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk meets with Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus

12.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk holds negotiations with head of the DECR of the Malankara Church

11.05.2022

DECR chairman meets with representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church Catholicosate of Cilicia

11.05.2022

Russian Orthodox Church delegation attends Orthodox Pre-Assembly of World Council of Churches

10.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion on the work carried out by the Church amid the political confrontation in Ukraine

09.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: Imposing sanctions will not affect the life of the Russian Orthodox Church

09.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion on details of the talk between His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis of Rome

09.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: We have learned from own experience that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate

02.05.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Church is called upon to unite people regardless of their political orientation

02.05.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s talk with Primate of Serbian Orthodox Church

27.04.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrates Paschal services.

24.04.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion on how Orthodox Churches are helping refugees

24.04.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion on setting a date for the Bishops’ Council

24.04.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrates Vespers of Good Friday with the procession of the burial-shroud.

22.04.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrates Vespers and the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great on Holy and Great Thursday.

21.04.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: the essence of religious life lies in the love for God

16.01.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: May the joy of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ into the world live in our hearts always

09.01.2022

On Christmas Eve, Metropolitan Hilarion celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Moscow church in honor of the icon of the Mother of God "Joy to All who Sorrow" on Bolshaya Ordynka.

06.01.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord calls every person to salvation in a variety of ways

27.12.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has commanded us to love every human being

31.10.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: on the Feast of the Holy Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos we glorify the heavenly intercession of the Mother of God

14.10.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Many things in a person's life depend on faith

29.08.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Holy Spirit is the main treasure of the Christian soul

01.08.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Holiness is a constant striving to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ

27.06.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: God does not want to condemn, but to save us

07.03.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord always grants to us the opportunity to display our talents

24.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has imbued the waters of Jordan with his divine presence to wash away human sins

19.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: to repent means to change your way of life

17.01.2021

Page is available in the following languages
Feedback

Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message
Рус Укр Eng Deu Ελλ Fra Ita Бълг ქარ Срп Rom عرب