Bishop Basil (Nesterenko)

Glory to Jesus Christ, dear brothers and sisters!

We are approaching to the Lent. Only one week is left. Today is the last day when it is allowed to eat meat food. So, that people, who want to keep the fast seriously, have to stop eating meat and the next week will be Cheesefare Week.

But the main thing is the spiritual fast. It is important for us to understand that the Lent means the prayer, confession, humbleness (at least at this time) during the next forty days. It is important to prepare for this fast. And you can see that the Lord leaded us with His Goodwill that we have so tragic events right now and we are in sorrow. That is why whole Ukraine in sorrow goes into the Lent that God could truly clean us from all dirt that we still have. And when we would stand in front of God much more purified after the fast and we will be able to enter His Glory.

Today we have heard the Gospel (Matthew 25: 31-46), which the Lord gives us before the Lent that we could understand what our life is, how we have to purify and to understand the idea of religious life and purification of the soul to enter His Kingdom.

We see in the Gospel that the Lord will come in His Glory. But we do not know the time of this event. Only God knows it. And all of us, every soul will stand in front of God and give the explanations about his/her life.

And when we would come there we would see the life we had on the Earth. And we will see all uselessness of our life, which we had. We did wrong things; things we did not like and things that God did not bless us for. We will see that we did not do the mercy doings, spent our life in uselessness. Generally we took care about our material security. A lot of time we spent like wasters – watched TV instead of helping other people, who needed us and asked for help. Maybe, they did not ask aloud, but you had to feel that they needed help.

And the Lord shows how we have to do good doings in Love. He showed us His love, gave the example of just life on the Earth, which He devoted to love to people and did mercy things only with Love.

And you can say that you have Love, that you love everyone. Yes? You can say a lot of things, but the Lord says that only by mercy doings we can justify ourselves and show that we truly have the Love in the heart.

We see in this parable how God separates human souls. All sheep go right, all goats go left. We see that the sheep are the symbols of everything what the Lord accepts – humbleness, love, obedience. And goats are vice versa: they live like they want to; they do not know that good thing which they have to do.

We see that God’s people like that sheep live in obedience, love; they do good things with mercy. And it came to them not from the birth. It is the understanding of their life. They act like this because they cant live in the other way. It is the background of their lives. And they even do not understand why the Lord says: “You did a lot for me, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” But they do not understand that it can be different, that you can live in a different way.

The same is in our lives. There are people who do not boast, but they live silently and do good things. God sees every soul and all our deeds.

And the last time will come and according to God’s Will this world will be divided. We see that now it has been divided into sheep and goats. It is very clear in this time.

And the Lord is the God’s Will for people’s salvation.

What is the eternal blessedness if people will feel God very close to them? It is the state of the soul when a person understands that he did everything what was planned for him and he is ready to face God, when He come in His Glory. It is the nature of such person.

What are the eternal hell, eternal darkness? It does not mean that God takes vengeance on all souls that lived in sins. People made their own lives by themselves. The Lord gave the Knowledge, gave the Truth: “Take and read.” He gave the manual – the Gospel, where it is written how to do. But a lot of people do not want to understand this Truth, God’s Love. They live by themselves. And that is why they create this hell, it is so terrible life. People do not understand and realize what is waiting for them.

And God gives us too the “Way of Life” and “Way of Death”. He gives us a free choice in this. That is why we have to choose. Maybe all present people have already made a choice. We all want to choose “Way of Life”. So, Let the Lord bless, help and lead us on the just road.

Let the Lord save you!