The Destruction of Grief

Sermon on the Sunday of the Widow of Nain

The following is a sermon delivered by Metropolitan Tikhon of Pskov and Porkhov on October 23, 2022, on the Sunday of the Widow of Nain in the Kazan-Simansky Convent of the Savior, in the town of Ostrov, Pskov province.


In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

In our difficult, cruel times, especially close and understandable to us is a mother’s grief, about which we heard today in the Gospel—about a mother who lost her only son. How many mothers share her fate today!

No one can ease the grief of a mother, no one can heal it. No one but God.

And we heard today in the Holy Gospel how the Lord does this, in the story of the Savior’s meeting with a funeral procession and a widow who had just lost her only son. The Lord did the only thing that could console the mother—He gave the woman her child back again. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother (Lk. 7:15).

This is unfathomable to the unbelieving world. But we heard this not only with our ears, but also with our faith. And we know that in this great event is the foundation of the Christian faith of each one of us.

Without faith in the resurrection there is no Christianity. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Rev. 21:4), it says in Holy Scripture. The most precious sacred treasure of our faith is precisely this consolation of mother’s incurable pain—our unwavering faith that the Lord will wipe away every one of these endless human tears…

Yes, all mankind itself is to blame for the tears, the grief, and all the evils on earth, even death itself. But this bitter and irrefutable truth will not console a grieving mother. Only the Lord Himself can do that, when by His incarnation, Cross, and Resurrection He will lead all He has created and restored from fallenness to the state wherein He can again pronounce the words He spoke at the creation of the world: And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good (Gen. 1:31).

It is to this astounding and unfathomable higher good and harmony that the Lord is leading the Church—mankind who believes in Him. How this will take place is incomprehensible. For us only this is clear: This is absolutely impossible through the efforts of even the entire human race. But we believe and know that it will definitely happen. And this new life will be called the Kingdom of God. We also know that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God (Act. 14:22). And now is the time of these tribulations.

Let us arm ourselves with faith and undoubting hope in the Lord who is both risen and resurrects, Who wipes away every tear, and grants the Life of the age to come! Let us push aside all confusion and lack of faith! This will strengthen our souls and give us not only faith, but also an announcement from God, the cherished knowledge that this is just how it will be: “The resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come”! Amen.

Metropolitan Tikhon (Shevkunov) of Pskov and Porkhov
Translation by


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