"And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." (1 Jn. 5:4)
Christ the Lord conquered the world. That, brethren, is also our victory. The apostles conquered the world and that is our victory. The saints, virgins and martyrs conquered the world and that is our victory. Brethren, there is nothing more powerful in the world than the Christian Faith.
The swords that struck this Faith became blunt and broken, but the Faith remained. The kings who fought against this Faith were smothered under the anathema of their evildoing. The kingdoms that waged war against this Faith have been destroyed. The towns that rejected this Faith lay demolished in their ruins. The heretics who corrupted this Faith perished in soul and body, and under anathema they departed from this world, but this Faith remained.
Brethren, when the world pursues us with its temptations - the temptation of external beauty, the temptation of riches, the temptation of pleasure, the temptation of transient glory - with what shall we resist and by what shall we be victorious, if not by this Faith? In truth, we prevail by nothing except by this invincible Faith, which knows of something greater than all the wealth in the world.
When all the temptations of this world reveal the opposite side of their faces - when beauty turns into ugliness, health into sickness, riches into poverty, glory into dishonor, authority into humiliation, and all-blossoming physical life into filth and stench - by what shall we overcome this grief, this decay, this filth and stench, and preserve ourselves from despair, if not by this Faith? In truth, nothing except this invincible Faith, which teaches us eternal and unchangeable values in the Kingdom of Christ.
When death shows its destructive power over our neighbors, over our relative and our families, over our flowers, over our crops, over the works of our hands, and when it turns its irresistible teeth even upon us - but what shall we conquer the fear of death, and by what shall we unlock the doors of life, stronger than death, if not by this Faith? In truth, nothing except this invincible Faith, which knows about the resurrection and life without death.
O Lord Jesus, Conqueror of the world, help us also to conquer the world by our faith in Thee.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
The Prologue of Ohrid, Vol. I
15 January, Homily