Thursday, December 29, 2016

Homilies on Genesis 1 by St. Nikolai Velimirovich (7 of 7)

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

(Prologue, Dec. 7)

"And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Genesis 1:31).

Brethren, when all the parts of a building are good, then the building in its entirety is very good. Every single brick is good, and every stone, the mortar and the lime, and the beams and the pillars - but man is moved to admiration only when he views the entire structure. Oftentimes, a certain detail in the building seems unintelligible and inappropriate to him, but he forgets about this in a moment when he turns his gaze upon the whole. And, indeed, there are many details in this world, as well as in things and in events, that are unintelligible and inappropriate to us. Only when the entire thing as a whole is revealed to us do we understand and are reassured.

We consider many of the sufferings and deprivations in our lives as truly ugly and senseless at the time they occur. However, when days and years pass, those very sufferings and deprivations shine as precious stones in our memory, illumining the later path of our life. Therefore, if something in God's creation offends you, look at the whole; if something in life embitters you, wait patiently with faith and hope for new days and years. And if this entire life seems painful and sorrowful to you, raise your spiritual eyes to the other world, and you will have peace and joy. For this entire visible world is not a perfect whole - the other world also exists. For it is said: "God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Even an artist directs the viewer to look at his painting from a distance, so that he may see it in all its beauty.

O Lord, O Immortal Artist, how very good is everything that Thou hast created! To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.