Monastic Sermon in KPD “Idrizovo”

“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” (Hebrews 13:3)

Recalling this apostolic command, as well as the greatest Sufferer and Prisoner, our Savior Lord Jesus Christ – Who for our salvation was shackled and thrown into prison from the hours of His captivity until His Crucifixion, living the tragedy of the prisoners and bearing in those moments all human misery and abandonment – our Elder, Bishop of Antanisian Mr. Partenij, dedicates special care to the souls of those people whom unfavorable life circumstances, sin, passions, misfortunes, and misunderstandings have led to incarceration. Thus, with his blessing and in agreement and with the approval of the Director of the Administration for the Execution of Sanctions, the esteemed Mr. Marjan Spasovski, with whom our Monastery maintains good cooperation, yesterday two brethren from our Holy Monastery visited the convicted persons serving prison sentences in KPD “Idrizovo” in Skopje. The monk brothers had a personal meeting with about fifty convicts, discussing their life stories, tragedies, problems, and expectations. Additionally, the fathers delivered a sermon on the power of repentance and the true transformation of the individual that occurs through life in Christ, and distributed New Testaments and books with Orthodox spiritual content. What touched the brothers most was the sincere gratitude of the inmates and their immense thirst for spiritual nourishment. Once again, the truth of Saint Apostle Paul’s words was proven in practice: where sin abounded, grace did much more abound (Romans 5:20).

Inspiration and strength for every prisoner and for the pastoral activity and care in prisons are the moving words of the Savior: I was in prison, and ye came unto me and inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me (Matthew 25:36,40).

To Him, Who taught us this merciful deed, to our Lord Jesus Christ, Who for us and our salvation was captured and imprisoned by the high priest and by the Sanhedrin, crucified on the Cross, and Who voluntarily descended into the dungeon of Hades, glory, gratitude, and worship we offer, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.