Sunday, October 1 (September 18), 2023
17th Sunday after Pentecost
Gal. 6:11-18; Jn. 3:13-17
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” [Jn. 3:14-15]. Our faith in the Son of God Who was crucified for us in the flesh ─ this is God’s power unto our salvation, the living font of life-giving moral pursuits and premises, receptacle of all-encompassing Grace of the Holy Spirit which abides in a human heart and conveys to us, when we most need it, the mystical knowledge and counsel from the Heavens.
The faith unites in itself those convictions which, firstly, please the Lord and, secondly, attract the power from on high. Taken together, these two factors are no less than the possession of the eternal life. As long as we preserve this life intact in our hearts, we are invincible: for having attached ourselves to the Lord, we become of one spirit with Him ─ and the Lord is truly invincible against any adversary.
What is the reason, then, for our failings? It is in the weakness of the faith. Weakening of the Christian convictions is followed by the waning of moral energy, and along with that, evil urges raise their heads, ready to supplant the Grace of the Lord in the human heart. Sooner or later an opportunity comes to follow such an urge… and a sin is committed.
By soberly preserving your faith in its fullness you protect yourself from sin. That’s what St. John means by saying: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin” [1Jn.3:9].