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The Gospel lesson for the Second Sunday of Luke is the Golden Rule as taught by Jesus: “Do to others as you would have them do unto you” (Luke 6:31).

The Golden Rule seeks to guide people to fulfill their needs, desires and dreams without tremendous undue conflicts which result in hurt and misery. We are reminded to treat each other with sincere understanding and most of all fairness. We as human beings have similar needs as well as shortcomings.

We are exhorted to treat our fellow man with love, goodness and genuine compassion no matter how they behave. As Christians, we are to go further and deeper in understanding and following this rule, way beyond just fairness or goodness. Just as the Good Samaritan who showed love and compassion to a wounded Jew, who were the traditional enemies of the Samaritan people, we are to care for our fellow humans. Thus in conclusion, Christian morality is centered not just in the principle of fairness but more so on the principle of active sacrificial love, which is our duty as Orthodox Christians.

We also celebrate the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, Pokrov. This feast which in the Slavic tradition is next in line after the twelve major feastdays. It celebrates a historical event that occurred in Constantinople centuries ago, invoking the protection of the Mother of God over the besieged city and its inhabitants.

According to the chroniclers, St. Andrew the fool for Christ, saw the Mother of God, appear in the opened dome of the Church of the Blachernae, where she spread her veil over those assembled on a Sunday morning seeking protection from an invading army led by the barbarian King Askold.

He was accompanied by his disciple Epiphanius who also saw the apparition and proclaimed her protection over the city and people, routing the invaders and converting them to Christianity. This feastday is celebrated with great adoration and Veneration of the comfort and love for the faithful, beseeching her Son, Jesus Christ to protect His people from calamity and destruction.

May the God of Mercy be with all of you!.