HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY
Sunday of All the Saints
Metropolitan Panteleimon of Antinoes
With our Lord’s love I welcome all of you at this divine service and pray that the Love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will rest in the hearts of all. For He has said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word” (John l4:23) and elsewhere He says: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John l4:23).
Our Lord wishes to give us a peaceful heart, for He is the Prince of Peace and He is the One who reconciled man to God. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John l4:27). The peace which God offers to man differs from that of the world. The world seeks external peace; whereas God offers the internal peace, which no one can offer. This peace man receives, when he opens his heart to Christ and welcomes Him within his soul with faith and trust.
In the Gospel of St. Matthew the Son of God teaches us saying, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentile and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. ll:29). Elsewhere He teaches us saying: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matt.l6:24-26).
Man’s aim in life is to achieve his sanctification and salvation in Jesus Christ. St. Peter reminds us of what God had spoken to man in the Old Testament: “For I am the Lord your God: you shall therefore sanctify yourselves: and you shall be holy, for I am holy” (Lev. ll:44. l Peter l:l6). To achieve this sanctification one must follow Christ, for He said: “For without Me you can do nothing” (John l5:5). God is our only Lord, and Jesus Christ is our Lord and God. He is the Son of God the Father, Who came into the world to save man from the bonds of death. He is the Saviour of all mankind, Who took up flesh in order to sanctify man’s nature. He is the Revelation of God the Father to the world, Who reveals to us the true knowledge of God and grants to us understanding of all heavenly things. He is the unique God-man, Who proclaims and says: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John l4:6).
No one can achieve true knowledge of God except through the Revelation, which God Himself has revealed to man. No one can achieve the true aim in life, which is man’s sanctification, except through the Church, which Christ has established by the shedding of His precious Blood. No one can achieve his Continue reading “Sunday of All the Saints – Metropolitan Panteleimon of Antinoes”