On January 9, 2019, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, who is on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with a blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Gorny Convent of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission. During the service at the convent’s Cathedral of All Saints, he was assisted by Archimandrite Alexander (Yelisov), head of the mission, and clergy of the mission and the convent.
Worshipping were sisters of the convent and pilgrims.
In his archpastoral homily, Metropolitan Hilarion conveyed greetings and a blessing from His Holiness Kirill upon the sisters of the convent and workers of the mission. He said that the aim of this trip to the Holy Land was to make a pilgrimage to the places where our Saviour walked and to meet with His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem and discuss church affairs with him.
Speaking about the celebrated Nativity of Christ, His Eminence underscored the importance of faith, stressing that Christ did not say ‘it is my power or the power of God that has healed you but ‘it is your faith that has saved you’.
His Eminence also spoke of the need for the faithful to commit themselves to the Divine will, just as Christ did; for ‘every suffering that the Lord sends us, every sorrow and every illness is sent for nothing else but for strengthening our faith’.
He also spoke about the need for the faithful to read the Gospel every day, as ‘each time it will open something new to us, deepen our knowledge of God and strengthen our faith because through this reading we come in touch with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself’.
In memory of the service celebrated that day, Metropolitan Hilarion gifted to the convent’s library a copy of his book ‘Jesus Christ. Life and Teaching’, which has come out in six volumes.
Addressing the mother superior and sisters of the convent, Metropolitan Hilarion said, ‘You are well aware that it is not a place that brings a person closer to God. One may be far away from this place while living with Christ, and one may be in the heart of holy places while having only temporal concerns in one’s heart. The Lord calls you to live up His life and bear His holy name in your heart and feel His Divine presence and every day go ever deeper in the knowledge of God’.
Addressing Metropolitan Hilarion, Archimandrite Alexander thanked him for the celebration in the convent, noting that for the workers of the mission and sisters of the convent and all those who serve in the Holy Land, such liturgies give a special blessing and spiritual joy.