In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!
Dear brothers and sisters, today we are commemorating the Monk Makarii the Great. On the day of remembrance of such saints, it is important for us to consider what is useful from their life, what we can apply in our own, and to hear their spiritual instruction that comes to us from the depths of centuries.
St. Macarius the Great married at the insistence of his parents, despite his long-standing desire to become a monk. After the death of his wife, and then the death of his parents, he left the world and became a disciple of St. Anthony the Great. For his holiness and heroic deeds, he was called "the young old man". Perhaps the most famous episode from his life was when he saw a human skull once on the road and asked: "Whose skull are you?". The skull replied that it belonged to a pagan priest. The most instructive in this story is that this priest told that in a much worse situation in hell are not Gentiles, but those Christians who were unfaithful to Christ. In the life of this saint there were also considerable difficulties, for example, the slander that a woman who was pregnant with him allegedly erected against him. In addition to his life full of feats and miracles, which the Lord performed according to his prayers, the saint left us his creations for edification.
The Lord has already accomplished our salvation and wants each of us to take advantage of his fruits
As any matter is important to start, so it is especially necessary for us to understand what begins our path to salvation. The Monk Makarios taught that the movement of the soul to salvation begins with a firm determination to be saved in the Lord, because the Lord has already accomplished our salvation and wants each of us to take advantage of its fruits.
We remember how the evangelical blind could not even come to the Lord, but called Him and was healed. The Monk Makarii emphasizes that every soul, if he believes, can call Christ, and he will create a "eternal deliverance" for the soul. Whoever does not come to the Lord of his own free will and does not plead with undoubted faith will receive neither healing nor salvation.
We must understand that we are not completely cured of the passions because we are not very faithful, because we do not love God as we should, because we do not believe sincerely.
If we do not take this first step, do not dare to turn to God for Himself to save us, then according to His dispensation we are sent to us all kinds of sorrows, misfortunes, illnesses, in other words, all those circumstances that sooner or later cause us to turn to God. In some cases, we begin to communicate with God by asking Him to rid us of these sorrows, and in others - some think that once in the world they are faced with unhappiness, then we must leave everything, hate the worldly and start serving God.
Death is not, but there is only the assimilation of flesh in anticipation of the Universal Resurrection
How can we establish ourselves in the thought that we really do not need anything in life except salvation? We have the opportunity to look inside ourselves and see, as St. Macarius says, that the Creator does not care about heaven and earth, not about the great and admirable cosmos, but about us with you. He sent to save people not an angel, but Himself became a man. He restored the image of the primordial Adam at our disposal and delivered us from death, and that is why now, as St. John Chrysostom says, there is no death, but there is only the assimilation of flesh in anticipation of the Universal Resurrection.
Therefore, it is justly necessary for us to feel gratitude to the Savior and understand that if we want to take advantage of this already perfect salvation, then we must fulfill what Christ commanded us when he was among us. The Monk Makarii, whose memory we are celebrating today, gave an example: the tsar sent letters to some citizens, in which he invited them to come to him and receive royal gifts from him. If the invitees do not come and receive gifts, reading the message will not do them any good. Similarly, we, brothers and sisters, will not benefit from reading the Holy Scripture, if we do not do what the Lord calls us, who wants us to become partakers of the Divine nature. On the contrary, we will be condemned as well as those who read the royal invitation and did not come to the king, will be condemned for not wanting to come and receive from Heavenly King the gift of eternal life.
The Monk Makarii said that Christianity is a great mystery, and that involvement in it informs us of the nobility about which Peter the Apostle wrote in his Epistle: you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (1 Pet. 2: 9). The Monk also admired the fact that in connection with this we have from God promises that they are incomparable with any visible riches. According to the apostle Paul, the eye did not see it, did not hear the ear, and it did not come to the heart of the person that God prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2: 9).
We will not benefit from reading the Holy Scripture, if we do not do what the Lord calls us to do
We also know that along with promises, God visibly showed His love for us when He ascended the Cross to deliver us, whom He created, from the work of the enemy. Realizing this, we also need to admire this and want not to perish, but to turn, to part with the sinful way of life and inherit what is prepared for us from the creation of the world.
The Monk Makarius and his life, and in his creations, show us that important thing, which is not considered to be particularly thoughtful, namely, what we really do not inherently sin in nature. The ability to sin is not a given, but an evasion from the natural. The saint cited the example of animals that are communicated without particularly bad consequences only with their own kind, and we, instead of striving for our heavenly kinship, to the Lord, lean towards the unnatural evil. Moreover, thereby we are at war against ourselves, we commit ourselves to the enemy of the human race and die.
On the day of the memory of this worthy Empty Hollower and in the flesh of the Angel, we have an occasion not only to reflect on the most important task of our life - salvation, but finally to decide to follow Christ as St. Macarius followed him, so that when we reasonably incur a post , vigil and prayer, receive not only heavenly gifts and help in the work of salvation, but also take the imperishable crown of the Kingdom of Heaven. By the prayers of the Monk Makarii, may the Lord help us overcome our laziness, infirmity and spiritual misunderstanding and finally decide to go, without looking back, by salvation! Amen.