By the grace of God Archbishop of Australia
To all the Clergy and devout faithful
of our Greek Orthodox Archdiocese
Brother concelebrants and beloved children in the Risen Lord,
Again, in this year's Matins Service for the Resurrection, we heard the comforting invitation of the Church; "Come receive the light from the never-setting light..."!
Thus, our soul rested again for a while, from the fears and the bitterness of the continually 'threatened' peace, both around us and within us.
However, it was not long before each of us - from his or her own position - found ourselves once again confronting the 'Signs of the times'; in other words, the characteristics of the fallen life which constitute our 'daily lives'.
This 'daily routine' that is not simply devalued but literally 'decadent', each day becomes more inconsolable, regardless of the 'profession' each of us has chosen.
'Modern Times', especially, have become more 'pitiless'. Because, by disputing everything, they have spread anxiety and confusion, even in the hearts of those who reverently "seek the Lord "!
The "never-setting light" of the Resurrection will consequently be encountered by, and collide with, its Antithesis, still many more times in our lives.
It will collide head-on not only with the 'Night that seeks to refute the light but also with the forces of Darkness and Denial.
Despite the fact that "the light of the Resurrection" is not a singular momentary 'bright flash', but Christ Himself, the Incarnate God, the Logos "who remains with us unto the ages", nonetheless, His salvific influence upon our life does not cease to be "overshadowed" continually:
- By the night of our foolishness.
- By the hard-heartedness of our ingratitude.
- By the indifference of our apostasy.
It is characteristic, and simultaneously disheartening - for us 'Christians' at least - that, John, the pre-eminent 'Disciple of Love', spoke so explicitly not only about the love of Christ the Light, towards "every man who comes into the world" (John 1:9), but also about Christ's incomprehensible abandonment, primarily by those who were supposedly 'His own':
"He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them Be gave the. right to become children of God" (John 1:11-12)
Would anyone ever dare refute such a 'testimony'?
Today, as we live through and are informed about global confusion and anarchy, there should remain no doubt as to the absolute 'verification' and bitter 'timeliness' of the words of John the Evangelist
And, John does not engage in 'alarmism'. Nor in 'hypocrisy'. He proclaims directly that to become a "child of God" is the highest "power" that renders one invulnerable "before Nations and Kings" (Acts 9:15),
However, the power of "the children of God" is not "of this world" (John 8:23).
That is the only genuine 'criterion' which separates those who have been blessed to become "children of God", from those who hypocritically profess to be such, without being worthy.Therefore, following the 'invitation' "Come receive the light", almost spontaneously, we hear the 'appeal' of the two Disciples who, upon observing that the "night is coming", on their way to Emmaus, said to the Risen Lord walking with them:
"Stay with us, for evening draws near, and the day is almost over" (Luke 24:29)
Our entire life, after having 'recognised' the Risen One, cannot but be a continuous appeal:
"STAY WITH US...".
With fervent prayers in the Risen Christ
Archbishop S T Y L I A N O S
Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia