Moscow region, Sergiev Posad, Lavra, Academy

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Sunday Services on the Week of the Last Judgment

Today the Holy Church remembers the words of the Lord about the Last Judgment. On this day, at the Divine Liturgy, we hear an excerpt from the Gospel of Matthew:

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, «Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me».

Love to God is manifested through love to our brethren, therefore Christ says:

And the King will answer them: Truly I say to you since you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me».

Therefore, everything good that a person does will justify him at the Last Judgment. After all, love is a core of everything, It is a main thing that the Christian should be guided with in his life. No deeds, gifts and knowledge can replace it. So, Apostle Paul says:

Love never ceases, although prophecies will cease, and tongues will cease, and knowledge will be abolished».

On March 6, Archimandrite Benedict (Knyazev) officed the all-night vigil at the Intercession Academic Church co-served by teachers and students in the priesthood.

Before the reading of Kathisma, a 3rd year undergraduate student Veniamin Polzikov delivered a sermon on a parable of the Last Judgment.

The very name of the Last Judgment makes our minds tremble before the impartial Judge. In the parable, the Lord draws attention of His disciples to everyday principles of interpersonal communication. Helping the hungry and the abandoned contains a call to provide all possible help to those in need and to show mercy. We are more accustomed to see salvation through fasting, prayers, divine services, and so on. However, in the parable, Christ tells us that all those things are just tools, which we use to improve ourselves in order to reach that ordinary benevolence towards other people. Thus, the Holy Scripture shows that external actions are not separable from mercy. And Jesus Himself calls us to feed the hungry, accept the wandering and visit the sick and the imprisoned. ».

After reading the Gospel, a choir under the conduct of Hieromonk Nestor (Volkov) performed the chant "Open the doors of repentance" sung from the Week of the Publican and the Pharisee until the fifth week of the Great Lent.

On March 7, Archimandrite Benedict (Knyazev) led the Divine Liturgy.

Before the Holy Communion, a fourth-year undergraduate student Kirill Kournikov delivered a sermon. He spoke about lessons that the Lord teaches us in the parable of the Last Judgment.

Why is the Last Judgment called like this? Of course, the mere thought that this Court decides the afterlife fate leads people to trepidation and arouses a question “Where will I end up?” But the worst thing is to find yourself in fear and to hear a terrible sentence: "Go from Me, you damned, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." However, we should remember that where there is fear, there is no love. In a parable of the Last Judgment, the Lord teaches us several things. The first one is to remember the Judgment despite endless worldly vanity. We make plans and put all our strength and hopes on people, but not on God. We seem to be ready to do good, but not here and now. The Lord protects us from such a life warning "Stay awake, because you do not know a day or an hour when the Son of Man will come." The second thing is that faith without deeds is nothing. Therefore, it is important to prove your love by your good actions, because how can someone love God who he does not see, if he does not love his brother who he sees?».

Background information:

Chanting at the all-night vigil performed by a male choir under the conduct of Hieromonk Nestor (Volkov) and a female choir led by Ksenia Alekseeva; at the Divine Liturgy a by the a male choir under the conduct of Vitaly Chuvilov and a female choir under the direction of Ksenia Alekseeva.

The MThA Press Office

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