Synopsis: On this Sunday before Nativity, St John of Kronstadt is also commemorated, and the Gospel for him and his life perfectly describes the purpose of the Incarnation. This Gospel contains our Lord's admonishments to love, using concrete examples, and concludes with the promise "And ye shall be children of the highest". This is the purpose of the incarnation, and examining this Gospel along with St John's life, which struggled to fulfill it illuminates this purpose for us, therefore, on this Sunday when we read the "Begats", it is appropriate to delve into what is means to be children of the highest, and how and why we can attain this high calling. We also suggest another way to describe the "Golden Rule" and what should be our inner motivation for loving our fellow man, and doing anything that is good in this life.
More homilies on the Nativity (the 2 Sunday's preceding, Nativity, and the Sunday after) are HERE
Luke 6:31-36 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. (32) For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. (33) And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. (34) And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. (35) But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. (36) Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Lots of photos and ikons of St John, from Google image search
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As a child of God, I try to emulate my Father. But I am like a child playing dress up and pretending to be grown up. It is only imitation—or rather a child's attempt at imitation. The clothes do not yet fit me. And while some of what a child does contributes to the household, most of it is pretend play, preparation for the day when he will be able to do the real work of his father's house. The work of the Father is Love.
But unless I remain and grow up in my Father's house, receiving His food, loving care, instruction and training, I stand no chance of growing up to be like Him and do His work, no matter how long I keep playing at it.