St Moses the Black - smallIn the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. We commemorate St Moses the Black today. May the holy St Moses pray for us. Amen.

There will be those who will say to you that God loves some. There will be those who will say to you that God has chosen some. These are all false assertions, by fanatics and heretics alike.

The truth is, God loves all (Galatians 3:23-4:5), as every single one of us is a priceless gift created lovingly by God. God does not show favors to some and neglect others. He is consistent, and He cannot deny Himself, Who is all-loving, and seeks to fulfill us in many ways (St Mark 6:30-45).

Whether we partake in God’s unending and infinite Love, and abide in His salvific Truth, is entirely up to us.

St Moses the Black (or Murin, meaning like an Ethiopian), was first a slave. He committed a murder and was banished by his master, and subsequently, he became a robber. Because he was endowed with great strength, he became the chief of the robbers. And yet, one day the robber chief repented, and left his criminal life behind, and wanted to join a monastery. St Moses wept constantly before the brethren seeking to join the monastery, and finally, when the brethren saw his genuine repentance, admitted him. St Moses was obedient, repentant, and prayerful. One day, some of his former henchmen came to plunder, but was overpowered by St Moses’ physical strength. The elders of the monastery told St Moses to set them free, and he did. The criminals saw the kindness of the elders and St Moses, and repented to become monks too.

This is what it means to be a Christian. A Christian is not free from passions. But we are to relentlessly repent (Proverbs 28:13-18), pray, and struggle onwards to attempt to reach God and reconcile with Him. It is an unending journey until our last breath. Never be fooled to think we are forever saved. We are to struggle always towards God, and God, in His Divine Nature, will always be merciful and gift us with rest (Joel 2:12-13).

Let us pray, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Let us close by praying the thanksgiving prayer:

It is truly meet to call thee blest, the Theotokos, ever blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption thou gavest birth to God the Word: True Theotokos, we magnify thee.

O virgin Theotokos, rejoice; O Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr Raphael+

Readings
Joel 2:12-13
Proverbs 28:13-18
St Mark 6:30-45
Galatians 3:23-4:5