In today’s culture we like to talk about ideas. We, or at least I, sometimes talk more often than is necessary. There’s a tendency to theologize and philosophize about God and Christ, rather than doing the simple but difficult work of knowing Him through action.
Below is today’s homily from the Prologue of Ohrid by St Nikolai Velimirovich as translated and published by the Serbian Orthodox Church Diocese of Western America.
Homily from the Prologue of Ohrid, January 21
“Whoever chooses to do His will [God’s Will] shall know whether my teaching is from God” (St. John 7:17).
It benefits little to prove by human logic and words that the teaching of Christ is the teaching from God. The fastest and most reliable way to know this is truth is to do the will of God in the same way that Christ proclaimed it and testified to it. Whosoever would do this, that one will know that the teaching of Christ is the teaching from God.
If you cry for the sake of God, you will know what kind of comfort He is. If you are merciful, you know the mercy of God. If you build peace, you will know how it becomes you to be called the Son of God. If you forgive men, you will know God forgives you.
Never can anyone be able to know that the teaching of Christ is the teaching from God, except he who does the Will of God. For only doing the Will of God, fulfilling the commandments of God, that is the key for unlocking Paradise in which God is seen. That is the key for understanding Holy Scripture and all the mysteries of revelation.
St. Basil writes: “In order to understand that which is hidden in Sacred Scripture, purity of life is needed.”
What else does the Lord want from us when He teaches us that through doing His will, we arrive at the understanding of the divinity of His teaching? He simply wants that we, by our deeds, become convinced of the divinity of His teaching. He does not want that we be convinced of this in an easy manner, but rather in a more difficult manner, not only by listening but by doing, because whoever is convinced in an easy manner will easily waver and change his mind and for him who is convinced in a difficult manner, it would be difficult for him to change his mind. Brethren, that is why we must endeavor to fulfill the Will of God in order that we may know God and save our soul.
O Lord, All-Wise, help us by the power of Your Holy Spirit to do Your will.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.