The Patriarch of Romania gave the example of the Gerasene demoniac who, after being healed by Christ, was told to remain in the place where he was known and tell others about the help he received from God.
‘Through healing, Christ transforms a man possessed by a demon into a kind, gentle, friendly man. He does not take him alongside, but tells him, “Remain at your homeland where everyone knew you as you were, and let them see how much good has God done for you, how your life was changed in the merciful love of the Saviour Jesus Christ”.’
‘In other words,’ the patriarch explained, ‘Christ wanted to say, “You don’t’ have to follow Me because if we go through other cities nobody knows you, but if you stay at home and tell everyone how much good has God done to you, then you become a preacher of God’s merciful love, that is a steadfast missionary”.’
The Patriarch said that we become steadfast missionaries when we proclaim in our communities, where we are known by others, the divine help that we have experienced.
“Where we live, where we are, we can tell how much good has God done for us, when He healed us of a disease, saved us from tribulation, from a difficult circumstance in our lives. In doing so, we bring glory and gratitude to God,” His Beatitude noted.
A healed demoniac becomes a teacher of thankfulness
Reflecting on the gospel reading, the Romanian Patriarch said that the demoniac is an example of thankfulness and gratitude.
‘We learn from this man in the country of Gergesenes how to thank God and proclaim His love unto the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for our salvation.’
‘Gratitude is a great virtue. It humanizes the human being.’
‘Nothing is more unpleasant than a man who is ungrateful for the good that God has done for humankind.’
‘That is why, in the Church, this man who was once possessed by demons and then was healed became a teacher of thankfulness for us,’ His Beatitude said Oct. 20.
The patriarch went on to say that the Church expresses its gratitude ‘in the riches, most grateful and most solemn holy prayer, the Holy and Eucharistic Divine Liturgy.’
‘Eucharist in Greek means gratitude, thanksgiving.’
‘When we celebrate the Divine Liturgy, we officiate the Mystery of the Holy Thanksgiving.’
‘During the Divine Liturgy, the Church thanks God for the many benefactions, known and unknown, shown and unshown, as the prayers at the Divine Liturgy indicate.’
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Emperors Constantine and Helen on Sunday.
Concelebrants for the Divine Liturgy included his patriarchal auxiliary bishops Varlaam of Ploiesti and Ieronim of Sinaia.
During the Divine Liturgy, the patriarch and the other servants were dressed in priestly vestments with Romanian traditional motifs to mark the Solemn Year of the Romanian Village.