Remain With Him: A Word to Communicants After Holy Communion

Words to the Communicants of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, Part 5

Part 1, 2, 3, 4


O taste and see that the Lord is good (Ps. 33:8).

You, brethren, who have been vouchsafed to commune of the Holy life-giving Mysteries of Christ, have received an inestimably great gift: You have been cleansed by repentance, you have been sanctified by the Blood of the Most Pure Lamb—Christ. Sinners are forgiven, the guilty are justified, the former abodes of rational swine, that is, demons, have become temples of God.

He Who withdrew because of your sinful uncleanness has again returned to you: Christ is with you, He is in you again, and you in Him. It now depends on you whether He will remain with you or will again withdraw from you. He, the Heavenly guest, visited the homes of Simon the Pharisee and Zacchaeus the publican. Remain with Him; don’t leave Him to engage in conversation with your earthly friends or to absentmindedly spend the day in vain pursuits. Entreat that He not leave you. Do what is pleasing to Him, as did Sts. Mary and Martha—one by hospitality, the other by listening to His word (Lk. 10:38-40).

And you—show hospitality to the least of His brethren as to the Lord Himself—listen to His word, which you will find in the Holy Gospel, or in your conscience, or in the voice of your pastors and teachers. Do for Him what Zacchaeus did: Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold (Lk. 19:8). But you, beloved brother, may lack the fortitude to distribute half of your possessions—give as much as you can. It would be pleasing to Him if you satisfy those whom you have offended in word or deed, or if you don’t restart animosity and arguments with those whom you reconciled with when preparing for Holy Communion.

You have tasted how good the Lord is, my beloveds—now try to make others partakers of this great gift of Christ.

Perhaps some will ask how to do this. Invite others to the Lord’s Table. You’ve been vouchsafed to prepare and commune of the Holy Mysteries of Christ—and how many of your brethren have deprived themselves of the Chalice of Christ! Perhaps some from among your loved ones, neighbors, and friends, and perhaps many haven’t prepared for several years now, and others have no intention of fulfilling this Christian duty even now. Some of them do this out of ignorance of how good the Lord is to those who receive Him worthily; others—out of carelessness, and others—out of the hardness of their hearts. Show them love, as the Lord loved you: Call them to Christ, persuade them, and implore them to come be reconciled with Him by repentance, to be cleansed by the confession of their sins, and to enter into communion with Him by the Communion of His life-giving Blood.

You might say: “I don’t know how to do this; I’m not verbal, I don’t know how to speak and I dare not take on the difficult task of a teacher, a preacher, and for others—a reprover, as it were.” And it’s not required from you to be a teacher or a reprover. It’s enough for you if you talk like a friend, advise like a partner, converse like a brother or sister. It’s enough if you say: “The Lord vouchsafed me to prepare for Communion, and it was good for me—you should prepare too, brother (or sister), and it will be good for you too.” Let the wife persuade her husband who hasn’t fasted for a long time and isn’t intending to do so now. Let the husband give his wife the opportunity to commune of the Holy Mysteries. Let the boss influence his subordinate, the master inspire the worker, the merchant—his employee, the artisan—his apprentices, the neighbor—his neighbor, the friend—his friend.

In a word, let us exhort one another, that none might go without communing of the Holy Mysteries, because he who hasn’t communed of the salvific Body and Blood of Christ is an enemy to God and a friend to demons.

Part 6

St. Makary (Nevsky), Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna
Translation by Jesse Dominick


Pfmd3/30/2023 12:50 am
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