Home page News
Metropolitan Hilarion: God does not want to&n…

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

On the 7th of March 2021, on the Cheesefare week on the Last Judgement, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations celebrated the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom at the Moscow church of “Joy to All the Afflicted” icon of the Mother of God on Bolshaya Ordynka street. Clergymen of the church assisted the archpastor.

During the Litany of Fervent Supplication, petitions were offered up for deliverance of the coronavirus infection.

After the Litany, Metropolitan Hilarion lifted up a prayer recited at the time of the spread of baneful pestilence.

Then the Archpastor addressed those present with a sermon, saying:

“In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit!

What does the Last Judgment mean to us and why, a week before the beginning of Great Lent, does the Church remember the Last Judgment?

There is such a thing as justice. In our earthly reality, this means that if a person has committed a crime, he must be punished accordingly. The more serious the crime, the more serious the punishment. The entire Criminal Code, the entire system of criminal law is built on this principle.

Of course, in the earthly life, justice is not always done. Sometimes the crime remains unsolved, and the person who should be in prison remains free. Or, an innocent person is accused of a crime, and he is serving a prison term, while the real criminal is not locked up.

When we talk about the Divine justice, then, first of all, we are talking about human sins. Sins are crimes against the righteousness of God, which alienate us from the Lord and deprive us of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Each of us has committed sins countless times. Sins are very different - grave and less grave, some of them seem to us regular and ordinary. There are sins that we commit in front of others, and there are, on the contrary, those sins that people do not see, but God sees.

One can sin not only by action, but also by thought. And no sin can hide from the Divine gaze: not only grave, but also the most imperceptible, inner sin, sin in thought. But if we think of God only as a Judge who watches over us and counts our sins and waits to condemn us at the Last Judgment, then this is an erroneous idea. God does not want to condemn, but to save us. For the sake of our salvation, He came to earth, became incarnate, became a man, took our sins upon Himself and suffered diseases, suffered on the cross and died - and all in order to save us, and not condemn us.

Therefore, we should not imagine the Last Judgment as a kind of judgment seat that the Lord prepares for us. We must think about how we ourselves will appear before God after we pass into another world. With what will we come to Him? What are we going to tell Him? How can we be accountable for our good deeds?

In today's Gospel reading, which we have heard during the divine service, the Lord reminds us by what criteria people will be judged at the Last Judgment. These criteria are very simple: feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, bring the homeless into your house, clothe the one who is stripped of clothes, visit the sick or prisoners. The people who have fulfilled this, the Lord will put onto His right hand and they will be rewarded with the Kingdom of Heaven. And on the left hand of the Lord are all those who have not fed the hungry, have not given water to the thirsty, have not visited the sick or those who are in prison, have not clothed the naked, have not brought the homeless into their home. In other words, on the left side there will be people who remained indifferent to their neighbours.

Both, as the Lord tells us, will be surprised: some will be surprised that God took them for deeds of love and mercy towards Him, while others - that the Lord rejected them, and they found themselves in the place of the condemned. Both those and others will ask: “Lord! When did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or as a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison? " And the Lord will say: "Everything that you did (or did not do) to one of the least of my brothers, you did to me."

In ancient times, especially during the earthly life of the Lord Jesus Christ, many people were honoured with their bodily eyes to see the Incarnate God. In subsequent times, some saints - the Apostle Paul, and after him others, to whom the Lord appeared and instructed on the path of a righteous life - were honored to see the Lord.

Often we ask ourselves: “Why doesn't the Lord appear to us? Why don't we see Him? " But the Lord answers us: “You can see Me in each of those people who need your help and support. If a person comes to you and asks for something, it means that I come to you. If you have shown mercy to the afflicted, it means that you have shown it to Me, and if you rejected him, then you have rejected Me”.

The Holy Church reminds us of this today. And the Last Judgment is menacing not because someone will count our sins, but because we secure our future in eternal life with our own lives, with our good deeds or their absence. And it can be both eternal bliss and eternal torment.

The Holy Church reminds us of the Last Judgment a week before Great Lent so that we set ourselves up on the path of repentance. Because in addition to the commandment about love for neighbours, which is given to each of us, we are also given a special way of interaction and relationship with God - what is called repentance in the language of the Church. Repentance is not only repentance. Many who committed a crime repented, but this did not save them from the punishment they deserved. And we have been given an image of repentance, that is, the opportunity to change our life - not only to designate our sins, confess them, regret them and live on as we lived before, but to embark on the path of correcting the whole way of life, on the path of healing our mind and hearts».

DECR Communication service

Share:
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with members of Commission for Dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Coptic Church

20.09.2022

Greetings by His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill to the VII Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.

14.09.2022

Condolences of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

09.09.2022

Russian Church recognizes Macedonian Orthodox Church – Archdiocese of Ohrid as Autocephalous Sister Church

25.08.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairs regular session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church

25.08.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill talks with the President of Kazakhstan

16.08.2022

Condolences of Patriarch Kirill over the death of believers in the fire that broke out in Abu-Seifein Church in Cairo

15.08.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with the ambassador of Jordan to Russia

29.07.2022

On the Day of the Baptism of Rus’, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Moscow Kremlin

28.07.2022

Patriarch Kirill meets with clergymen of the Diocese of Singapore and students from Indonesia

21.07.2022

Meeting of the Commission on the status of the Diocese of Vilnius and Lithuiania

06.07.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill answered questions from participants in the Ninth Faith and Word festival

22.10.2021

Tripartite meeting held by religious leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia

13.10.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill's congratulations to the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America on his namesake day

09.10.2021

Condolences of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on the death of people as a result of fire at a hospital in Constanța (Romania)

04.10.2021

Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk celebrates at Chinese Patriarchal Metochion

21.09.2022

Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk meets with the representative of the Church of England

20.09.2022

Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk meets with the Russian minister of foreign affairs’ special representative for cooperation with organizations in Muslim states

20.09.2022

Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk meets with representative of Assyrian Church of the East

20.09.2022

Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk meets with Syrian Minister of Endowments

19.09.2022

DECR Chairman meets with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University and the General Secretary of the Muslim Council of Elders

16.09.2022

DECR chairman addresses final session of the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions

15.09.2022

Metropolitan Anthony’s address at closing session of the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions

15.09.2022

Delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate meets with Pope Francis of Rome

14.09.2022

DECR Chairman meets with President of Kazakhstan K.K. Tokayev

14.09.2022

Metropolitan Anthony meets with Sheikh ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade

14.09.2022

DECR chairman attended the opening of the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions

14.09.2022

Speech by the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations the metropolitan of Volokolamsk Anthony at the opening of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.

14.09.2022

Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk meets with Primate of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem

13.09.2022

Moscow Patriarchate delegation led by the DECR chairman arrives in Kazakhstan

13.09.2022

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

On commemoration day of St. Catherine, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk officiated at the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr In-the-Fields  the representation of the Orthodox Church in America

07.12.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We can always show compassion for people

29.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates on commemoration day of St. Varlaam of Khutyn at the church of ‘Joy to All the Afflicted’ icon of the Mother of God

19.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We should remember that the life of each human being is in the hands of God

06.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: For God there is nothing impossible

25.10.2020

Metropoplitan Hilarion: The cross which was an instrument of dishonourable execution becomes the symbol of salvation for millions of people

27.09.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Eucharist is the wedding feast, to which Lord Jesus Christ invites each of us

13.09.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Faith alone is not enough for salvation

30.08.2020

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