Fr Petar's homily on fear and trust in Christ

On Ninth Sunday after Pentecost 2020.

In the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, amen.

The Lord speaks to us: Take courage, I am with you, do not be afraid.

What does Lord require of us? To be certain that he is always with us, and that in the most critical moments of our lives he calls us:

“Take courage, it is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14.27)

Current times put our faith to test. If someone told us that soon we will broadcast the Liturgies and attend to the services watching them on smart TVs and smart phones, who knows how we would respond.

But today we wonder: how long would this last, will it end?

It will, brothers and sisters. And we should pray our Lord shortens it, for the weak, for the small, foor the good among us. This is the time of “global viral claustrophobia”, as said by one fine “Politika” journalist.

We sought liberal democracy, but here we found, brothers and sisters, a cage; which side of it are we on, or are we still not aware that we are locked in?

These times have surprised us like a storm1, who some of us have already experienced.

These times change our lives; our family lives, professional lives, our lives at school. They remove us from Holy Liturgy, remove us from, brothers and sisters, Holy Communion, from other Holy Mysteries: christenings, weddings…

But Holy Mysteries are the roots supporting us in our earthly lives.

These are, brothers and sisters, signs of warning: that we direct our lives toward God in there persons: God Father, God Son and God Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity is our support, and our aim.

This crisis, and others who were and will be, admonish us to serve one another, and to lead different and new life. To awaken, brothers and sisters; to hear the calls of the poor, to listen to and care for those seriously ill.

This coming Friday, the fast of Dormition of the Mother of God starts. But for some weeks already, if not months, the Eucharist post is ongoing.2

This is a sad, the most sad solution we found in broadcasting the Holy Liturgies. This virtual attendance cannot replace our real attendance at Holy Liturgies; but leastwise, with God’s help, let us firm our prayers with Lord, so we can be with Him, and he will help us, and helps us now.

So we, as good Christians, children of Saint Sava, are not afraid from gales blowing over world seas. And when trials and tribulations arrive, we do not fall into unbelief; for us Orthodox, there is no despair.

But let us be as Apostles, as Great Holy Martyr and Healer Panteleimon, and Equal to the Apostles Climent, who we venerate today; let us avow faith in God of three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and let us tighly hold the mighty hand of the Saviour.

And He, who promised to be with us until the end of the world, is and will be near us, and will help us, and will comfort us today, as in words of today’s evangelical story: “It is I, do not fear, do not be afraid” - today, tomorrow and all days of our lives, amen, so grant us God.

Homily start at 35:56

  1. Reference to Operation Storm by Croatian army 25 years ago which resulted in forced expulsion of 180,000-220,000 Serbs from their ancestral lands in Croatia and Bosnia. ↩︎

  2. Reference to current inability of parishioners to receive communion at Liturgy in our church. ↩︎