There is a saying, "Better late than never." You are not old: 45 years of age is the period in life when your creativity flourishes. I think you will be able to put your creative powers to use, if only you work hard and wait patiently.
A few days before the great feast of the Nativity of Christ we talked with Archpriest Valerian Krechetov, a famous confessor and preacher, and rector of the Church of the Protection of the Mother of God in the Akulovo village near Moscow. The subject of our talk was: How can we prepare ourselves to experience the great Christian feasts more attentively?
We have said that some celebrate Christmas without Christ, but sometimes Christians identify Christmas just with the Lord’s birthday. So what do we await on this feast: the appearance of God into the world, so as to endlessly feed 5,000 people? No—His appearance so as to go to the Cross, for us and for the possibility of our salvation.
In today’s reading, given to us on this the eve of the New Year, we hear these words “Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” If that is not a worthwhile New Year’s resolution, I am not sure what would be. Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. But what does that actually mean for us? What is this path that we need to make straight? What is the way of the Lord, and how do we prepare it?
We honor all the righteous of the Old Testament, including those who became the Savior’s ancestors according to the flesh, because these people burned like candles of God in the darkness of paganism, and lived in the hope of the coming of the Messiah and mankind’s deliverance from slavery to the devil, sin, and death.
Here it is: "For the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light (Lk. 16:8)." Our Lord Jesus Christ says these words in the Parable of the Unjust Steward. What for? In my view, the Savior wants to tell us that if we are willing to become the children of the Kingdom, then we have something to learn from the children of this age: They have their experience, skills and valuable findings that should in no way be ignored.
The woman, receiving the gift of healing, thanks the Lord. Man, having received healing by the mercy of God, cannot but thank God. It is natural for him, and it is a sign of his healing, because no one is able to bring praise to the Lord until his ailing soul has been healed. The grace of Christ can straighten everything that sin has twisted in our lives.