St John of Kronstadt
Entrance of the Theotokos in the Temple

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In his homily on the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos (November 21), St John of Kronstadt (1828-1908) asks “How did the most blessed Virgin spend her time in the Temple?” He notes just four things, and pleads with us to imitate the Theotokos in these, adding that the Church is the “school of faith and piety” which we too, like her, must make the centre of our life.

First he states that she spent her time learning how to pray directly by the Holy Spirit, showing us with what “warmth of heart and love we must pray to the Lord”. Next, he notes that the Theotokos spent time reading the word of God, and encourages us also to study the Scriptures, for in them the mysteries of God are revealed. Third the Virgin spent time in divine contemplation, teaching us that we too must “love the Lord, our Creator, more than anything else in the world… more than anyone dear to us”. Finally, she spent time doing handiwork, showing us “how we must dedicate ourselves to Him

[the Lord] wholeheartedly” and to “entrust our fate to His wise and all good Providence”.

St John of Kronstadt goes on to say that as Christians we are called to become “heavenly citizens, divine inheritors and co-inheritors with Christ”. In order to achieve this calling, he states that the Church assists us by offering heavenly peace necessary for prayer, the Holy Bible for education, strength for spiritual labour through the Holy Mysteries, and, the lives of the Saints as examples.

In conclusion, he urges us to “love going to God’s Church” and to make ourselves a living temple offered to God. May we therefore enter the Church every Sunday and feast day, where we will discover the Saviour, the Mother of God, the Saints, and all things that the Church offers in order to form us, as it did the Virgin, into vessels of divine grace.


Source: October-November 2014 Lychnos Edition