Neither blind guides nor blind followers

Behold, I will make My word in thy
mouth fire, and this people wood,
and it shall devour them

Jeremiah 5.14

Do you see, my brethren, how the word of the Lord differs in its effect on different people? The word of the Lord is as fire, at which the righteous rejoice, frozen in the coldness of this world. And the word of the Lord is as fire, which burns up the unrighteous, whom this material world warmed too greatly. Experienced spiritual teachers have left us testimony that the name of Jesus alone—which brings strength, joy, and refreshment to the faithful—burns evil spirits like living flame. So it is with every word of God. To one it gives comfort, to another excitement; to one it calms anger and to another it gives strength; to one it incites veneration and to another a taunt. It is honey to the whole, but to the unhealthy that honey is wormwood.

But why should the people be as wood that will be burned? Are the people at fault if godless elders and false prophets lead them onto foreign paths? The people are not at fault to as great an extent as their elders and the false prophets, but they are at fault to some extent. For God gave to the people also to know the right path, both through their conscience and through the preaching of the word of God, so the people should not blindly have followed their blind guides, who led them by false paths that alienated them from God and His Laws. My brethren, God is righteous, and He knows the measure of every fault and will not let the small and ignorant suffer as much as the learned and great.

O all-seeing Lord, save us, that we be neither blind guides nor blind followers. Strengthen our hearts that, as leaders or followers, we may ever be Thy servants, and Thy servants alone. To Thee be glory and praise for ever. Amen.

St Nikolai Velimirovich. The Prologue from Ochrid. Homily for May 6th.

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