“When we have good comprehension of what we are doing, everything is meaningful, especially when it comes to God.”
His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph returned to the Archdiocesan Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Brooklyn, New York to celebrate the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on Sunday, March 20, 2022.
On the second Sunday of Great Lent, the Orthodox Church commemorates a “star of Orthodoxy, support of the Church, and its teacher” – St. Gregory Palamas, archbishop of Thessalonica.
“We cannot say that St. Gregory Palamas is from the fourteenth century, so I have nothing to do with him,” His Eminence preached. “No, I have a lot to do with him because he taught me the Orthodox faith and he taught the Church the Orthodox faith.
“The Church has given us this opportunity to emulate the holy fathers like St. Gregory Palamas. We are the extension of its holy history, and it is alive and powerful.”
Sayidna Joseph remembered his days as a student in Thessaloniki serving in St. Gregory Palamas Cathedral, where he was ordained a deacon in 1976. That cathedral houses St. Gregory’s relics.
“It’s very dear to me when I mention his name, when I commemorate him,” His Eminence said. “Although I am unworthy, when I served in his church, his whole body was next to me. It was very powerful and profound.”
St. Gregory shines as an example of Christian life – especially during Great Lent – by communing with God and working miracles through hesychasm (quiet, deep prayer) and charity, plus repentance and forgiveness.
From Sunday’s gospel reading (Mark 2:1-12), Sayidna Joseph reminded the congregation that, although He healed a paralytic, He first forgave him of his sins.
“‘God is with us,’ as we hear in Great Compline. God is with us through the forgiveness that we give to each other. This is the beginning of healing. If we don’t heal from sins, then there is no other healing possible.”
Photos by Elio Nicolas/ antiochian.org.