Beloved brothers and sisters into the Lord,
The beginning of 2012 is commemorated by the Church as a call to repentance. And this for that, today’s Gospel is Mark 1, 1-8…where we are dealing with the person and work of Saint John the Baptist.
He is the one that „crying in the wilderness” [v. 3], for to call people to repentance and recognition of Christ.
And, on the one hand, we celebrate today the beginning of the preparation for the Baptism of the Lord but, on the other hand, we celebrate today and the circumcision after the flesh of the Lord.
Because today, „the Lord of all the circumcision suffers and mistakes of men, as a Good, cut them, giving today salvation of the world” (from the Kontakion of the present feast).
And, as shown, the civil year 2012 begins with repentance…for that the Lord begins His suffering for us.
But repentance is light, because Christ is the Light of the world. And therefore today, at eight days after He was born after the flesh, the Child receives the name of Jesus, because our Savior is He who has begun to suffer for us today.
But, still today, we remember and the Saint Basil the Great…which Saint Liturgy we served.
And namely we begin the calendar year with a theological day, joyful and divine strength.
Humble clothing, ascetic food, preaching of faith: three aspects of the life of Saint John. And of these we understand that everyday life is a framework of spiritual life, because the spiritual life is the soul of our life.
But we remember this: the ecclesiastical year begins on 1 September. Now begins the civil year…but New Year’s Eve is not a religious holiday.
What is of the Church we celebrate through the religious service. And our liturgical ministry today consists in Saint Liturgy and Tedeum/ Thanksgiving.
And how can we not thank God for the many blessings bestowed on our lives? How to silent when the heart urges us to praise the Lord?
But for to praise the Lord is need to recognize Him that the Lord of our lives. And from here comes repentance, which is considered by itself.
For only when we understand what is God’s will we realize how sinful we are.
And Saint John the Baptist has been reported to Christ and waited from Him the salvation. For that the repentance is saving if it makes into and for Christ.
Because the repentance is a path to Christ is not a thing itself. This is the motive for that, the Lord always condemned the ritualism that kills love for God and people.
And the ascetic man is not the one that droops from cause of the fast but the one that flourishes from cause of the love of God and man.
Thus, our Church requires us the repentance to fill us with grace and joy and not with bitterness and disgust.
This is repentance in fact: our fill with the light of Christ!
And all what does not clear us up and not fills us with attention is a failed ascesis.
Then to seek to light us through repentance!
Let us flood the grace of God, in which we was fully baptized!
For that to fully enjoy the beauty of God, that surpasses the all mind. Amen!