Friday, July 29, 2016

Homily On How the Mercy of God Delays the Dreadful Day (St. Nikolai Velimirovich)

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9).

Brethren, the mercy of God delays "that day which burns like a furnace, according to the words of the Prophet Malachi" (Mal. 4:1). Therefore, let the scoffers be ashamed, who scoff at the promise of God and say: "Where is the promise of His coming?" (2 Pet. 3:4). God has not forgotten His promise but the sinners themselves have forgotten it. God, according to His immeasurable mercy, waits for the sinners to come to their senses, repent and to prepare themselves for that day which is not repeated. Behold that day is not like the many days which are given to men for the sake of repentance and to prepare for the encounter with God. That day is the only day and it differs from all other days, for it does not come for the sake of repentance but rather for judgment. Just as the Dreadful Judgment is only one and unrepeatable, thus is that day only one and unrepeatable.

God does not desire that any man be lost. He did not create man for death but for salvation. Is there a gardener who sows vegetables and desire that his vegetables dry out and perish? God is wiser and more compassionate than all men. God has only one desire, i.e., that all men repent and turn away from evil. How does the husbandman rejoice when his withered vineyard comes to life and again becomes green and brings forth fruit! How much more then is the joy of God and the angels of God when the souls of men, withered from sin, return and become young again from the tears of repentance and bring forth fruit of repentance.

O Lord, Merciful and Lover of Mankind, help sinners to sense Your mercy and Your pity toward them to sense and to repent and to turn away from their wicked ways. To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.