Протоієрей Віталій

Glory to Jesus Christ, dear brothers and sisters!

I congratulate you with consecration of your souls and with Holy Communion.

Today we have heard very interesting Gospel about Zacchaeus (Lk., XIX:1-10). And you should think whether you would like to be on Zacchaeus’ place? Would you like to climb up on the tree and look at prophet Jesus, at Messiah, to look at Him with hope that He would come to your house? Would you like to do it? Surely. But a lot of time passed. How can we do it now?

You have come to the temple today; you have opened the doors of your souls to God, to Jesus. Jesus entered your soul, He settled in you through the Holy Spirit, through the Holy Communion. You are sanctified. Jesus is with you now. But how can you invite Jesus to your house?

It is very easy. You go home and Jesus stays with you, so in some way He has already entered your apartment. You walk in your house or flat and in the same time the Lord sanctifies your place. But we also know that Orthodox and Catholic Church, ruled by this Gospel, started the tradition to consecrate apartments. And it is not just a tradition; it is the Sacrament of Consecrations of houses.

And when the clergy come to your house the Lord through the priests together with the owners pray when your flat or house become sanctified. During the consecration the priest reads this Gospel. The Gospel is read and you can feel the Lord more. In the same way two thousand year ago Zacchaeus accepted Jesus in his house and you invisibly accept Our God Jesus Christ through the Sacrament of Consecration. That is why such tradition exists: after the Jordan Epiphany from January 19 to February 15 till the feast of Christ's presentation at the Temple all people consecrate their houses.

In what purpose? That God could be more in your life.

I want to tell the story from my own practice. When the clergy came to the flat or house very surprising things happened. And it did not matter whether people were our friends or strangers. When you came in people were always friendly, everything was good, but your soul felt bad, it felt some other energies. What kind of energies? The energies that were far from God’s energies. And people that lived there were used to them. They gave very little time for praying, they did not come to the Temple very often to sanctify souls, to take the Holy Communion. They were very busy, because this was life.

But anyway they made their free will and invited the priest to their house; they wanted God to settle in their apartment, in their home.

And I want to tell you that the prayer and the Sacrament of the Consecration happened, after that a short sermon was told and everything changed in a minute. You felt differently. And you started to analyze. A half an hour ago you felt discomfort, as if someone pressed you soul. But that time passed and you felt comfortable, you did not want to leave, because the Holy Spirit came and you were good in this house. If you felt this, so the other present people also felt this. But here is the question: “Did they fully understand everything if they did not have knowledge about the power of Holy Spirit?”

If they did not have knowledge, we would try to explain them a little bit, not very much that they could understand what was happening during the Consecration. That the Lord in such way settled in their apartment.

And there is next thing about Zacchaeus. We know that a man suffers for his sins. The man suffers with illnesses, or some very difficult trials can happen in his life. And there is the way out – good doings. Do you remember that: “Good doings save us from the death sins”. And Zacchaeus knew about it, so he said at once: “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor.” Did he do it without a special reason? No. He sinned before. He was a chief tax collector. Other Judaic people despised tax collectors, because they made a lot of evil things, got rich on the sufferings of other people. You can call them with the modern word - corruptive people. And Zacchaeus felt that the Lord came, because the Holy Spirit touched him. Jesus consecrated him in his own house by His presence.

And Zacchaeus understood that he did bad things. How to find the way out? He said: “Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor.” Why he did so? He did not want his children, grandchildren suffer for his sins. He did not want to suffer by himself too. He made the right decision, he understood what to do.

Do you remember in the Gospel when Jesus healed someone he said: “You can go, but do not sin again”. And we should understand that the main reason of the man’s illnesses is his sins. There are others, but this is the main one.

Do you understand? That is why the man chose the way of donation: “I would better help poor people, give voluntary something mine to the Lord, but I will not suffer for my sins, my children and grandchildren will not suffer.”

In the same way, dear brothers and sisters, we have to act, when we make mistakes consciously or unconsciously. It is better not doing make mistakes consciously. Maybe we can sin unconsciously, because we are not gods on the Earth. But anyway we have to understand – do good things in order your children or you do not suffer.

Good doings not necessarily measured by material or financial wealth. Good thing is you prayer for the close people or your prayer for the Church you come to, because you know that it has a lot of different trials. You can pray for the people on the Independent Square, because they look for the better life not only for themselves but for all people, who live in Ukraine. You can do other good thing. You can come to the Temple, confess in all bad doings and you will not fully suffer and have all illnesses.

You have a free choice and have the opportunity to do good things in any way and everywhere. The main thing is not to be lazy and ask: “Oh Lord, give me the strength to live like just person, give me desire to do good things.” Because the man sometimes says such words: “I would like to do good things, but I did not have a chance, I did not have someone to help with bags, or I did not have someone to put across the street, or no poor man to give money to.”

And you ask: “What should I do in such situation?” It is very easy. Just ask the Lord: “Oh Lord, give me the chance to do good thing today, give me the opportunity to help someone, send me that man, who needs my help very much”.

And you will go at work or school, university and find such person. And then do not ignore this chance but help, because you asked it and God gave it to you and you did not use it. Then you will come to the Lord and He will say: “Did you ask the chance to do good thing?”. “Yes”. “I gave it to you, so why you did not use it?” And when you will answer in front of God.

Do you understand? God has such mechanism – it is simple in one hand, but in the other it is complicated. But the main thing is that we try to be hot in God, that the Lord can be in your soul, in your apartment, that He will be always with you and do not leave you. And to reach this you have to ask God and He will give you His presence, His God’s Love and His Grace.

Glory to Jesus Christ!