The young adults of St. Elias Church in Atlanta, Georgia asked His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph how they know if their calling to serve is from God.
“We need commitment,” he answered them. “Without commitment, we only have obligation.”
Commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ empowered the founders of St. Elias Church to build 100 years ago, His Eminence preached, and it will also empower their physical and spiritual descendants to witness His love and healing for the next 100 years and beyond.
“When we build a church, it’s not about the bricks,” Sayidna Joseph continued. “We are building a portion of society, families, and the kingdom of God.
“Imagine how many people have prayed here for you, for me, for the Archdiocese, for the sake of humanity. Imagine how many weddings, how many baptisms, how many blessings that have happened here, including funerals for people who have died in the Lord. That is a blessing whether we like it or not.”
Sayidna Joseph also drew upon Sunday’s readings in the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy (I Cor. 4:9-16, Matt. 17:14-23) to remind the congregation of two realities: when they choose Christ, others will persecute them for that choice; and if they want to heal themselves and others, they must have full faith and obedience to Him.
Of course, these two realities are centered on commitment.
Over the weekend, His Eminence met with the pastor, Fr. Gabriel Tannous, the clergy, the parish council, the Antiochian Women, the Sunday School and the young adults. Sayidna Joseph blessed the church’s new altar and icons that adorn the sanctuary.
His Eminence congratulated the congregation for their continual witness to Christ. He also thanked the choirs for their beautiful singing.
Video: Great Vespers on Saturday with the blessing of the altar and icons
Video: Orthros and Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on Sunday (His Eminence’s homily at 2:05:05)