„The zeal of the Comforter“

Excerpt from the sermon of Archimadrite Parthenius on his names day

This diversity of faithful, gathered here tonight, testifies that the Church is One Holy Ecumenical and Apostolic – the one Body of Christ of which we are all members (see I Corinthians 12,27). Therefore, we all together create the great and wonderful family of Christ, Who accepts us generously, no matter who we are, where we come from, what we represent. Just like St. Paul says: For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as having been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye is all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3,26-28). Thank you, my dear spiritual children, for testifying that very truth, with your coming here. I am endlessly grateful to God for all of you because you have learned through us and with us, to love God in the right way, and not to give in to something false, you have learned to please God, rather than to please men. There is no greater joy for me than to see you as witnesses of Christ’s unconditional love. You know well and you can confirm that I have never taught you to judge and slander anyone, especially not the members of the Church clergy because that is a terrible sin. Believe me, those who publicly or in their thoughts condemn and judge the spiritual leaders of the Church cannot progress in any way, they are doomed to perish. Therefore, beware of judging.

Let us strive constantly in the feat of mutual love – that is most important. In that way, we would be beneficial both for the Church and the society and our Homeland. Certainly, our true and eternal Homeland is, above all, the Mount Zion, the City of the Living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem. (Jews 12,22). But those who have chosen this Fatherland for their own and have directed their lives towards the Heavenly Kingdom would surely know to how to properly value and love their earthly Homeland, they would even be ready to sacrifice themselves for it, but in the right way, without falling into hypocritic patriotism or idolatry. Our Lord Jesus Christ says in the Gospel: Ye shall know them by their fruits (Matthew 7,16). I wouldn’t want to boast with anything else, but the Cross of Christ (see Galatians 6,14), but would rather let the deeds the brothers of this Synodia do for our dear Fatherland, speak for themselves.

Our holy father St. Parthenious of Lampsacos is a person who makes the power of the Heavenly Kingdom visible to us. So many centuries have passed since his repose, and yet he never stops to perform miracles, to protects us, to intercede before God for us as eternally living shepherd of the Church. He is really alive because he became a dwelling place for the eternal God. Tonight, in one of the vespers’ stichires he was described as an ember of the Holy Spirit: …… Ember of the Holy Comforter. How does one become an ember of the Holy Spirit, Light of God? Only through the uncreated Divine energies. Let us recall for a moment the Transfiguration of our Lord. What actually happened on Mount Tabor then? The Disciples John, Jacob and Peter saw the Divine light which emanated from their transformed Teacher. Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated to His disciples that the human body can also be a container of Divine energies. Until then, this inconceivably powerful Divine energy had been hidden from the. Not that Christ didn’t have it, but rather they couldn’t see it until then. The holiest Teotocos with that huge divine grace from the very moment of her conceiving by the Holy Spirit. But, after the Resurrection of our Lord, the Divine Deifying energy became available to every ascetic in his feat of love for God.