Αναζήτηση αυτού του ιστολογίου

Τρίτη, 30 Απριλίου 2013

ΤΙ ΕΙΔΑ ΚΑΙ ΤΗ ΕΖΗΣΑ ΚΟΝΤΑ ΣΤΟ ΓΕΡΟΝΤΑ ΦΙΛΟΘΕΟ ΖΕΡΒΑΚΟ ΣΤΗΝ ΠΑΡΟ «Ήρθες να με σταματήσεις, μου πε διαβάζοντας το συλλογισμό μου, μα εγώ δεν κουράστηκα αλλά αναγεννήθηκα. Άλλος σηκώνει τα βάρη, είπε στοχαστικά κοιτάζοντας τον Θείο Εσταυρωμένο».





ΤΙ ΕΙΔΑ ΚΑΙ ΤΗ ΕΖΗΣΑ ΚΟΝΤΑ ΣΤΟ ΓΕΡΟΝΤΑ ΦΙΛΟΘΕΟ ΖΕΡΒΑΚΟ ΣΤΗΝ ΠΑΡΟ «Ήρθες να με σταματήσεις, μου πε διαβάζοντας το συλλογισμό μου, μα εγώ δεν κουράστηκα αλλά αναγεννήθηκα. Άλλος σηκώνει τα βάρη, είπε στοχαστικά κοιτάζοντας τον Θείο Εσταυρωμένο».


Φαίνεται πώς ό άνθρωπος είναι πλασμένος για να δίνει και ότι αν παύσει να δίνει, αρχίζει το ξέφτισμά του και λιγοστεύει μέσα του το ανθρώπινο ενώ αυξάνει το κτήνος. Αυτό το βλέπω και το ζω στη ζωή του παππούλη.
Κόπτεται κυριολεκτικά για να διακονήσει τον άνθρωπο στις ανάγκες του και κάνει τον καημό των άλλων, δικό του καημό!!
Σήμερα μια σειρά ατέλειωτη ανθρώπων ήταν έξω απ' το κελί του και περίμεναν υπομονετικά να τον δουν και να του αναθέσουν το πρόβλημα τους ή να  ανοίξουν την καρδιά τους. Σαν πονεμένος, ένιωθα τον πόνο και την ανάγκη αυτών των ανθρώπων αλλά πονούσα και για τον παππούλη μας, πού ή κούραση του απ' αυτή την ανεξάντλητη αιμορραγία είχε περάσει το μέτρο και με τίποτα δεν ήθελε να σταματήσει. Ή αγάπη για τον παππούλη, φρονούσα ότι μου είχε δώσει δικαιώματα. Γι` αυτό παραμέρισα τούς ανθρώπους ευγενικά και εισήλθα στο κελί του.

 Αυτό πού είδα, μου τα ανέτρεψε όλα και ένιωσα καλύτερα τη μικρότητα μου και το δέσιμο μου με τη φθορά και το θάνατο. Δεν ήμουν παρά ένας μικρός υπολογιστής πού 'ναι δεμένος με τα πράγματα και το τώρα. Ακόμα, παρά τις αλλεπάλληλες δωρεές και ευεργεσίες πού είχα δεχθεί δεν είχα μπορέσει να καταλάβω καλά πώς τη ζωή την κατευθύνει το χέρι του Θεού και ότι τίποτα δεν γίνεται δίχως Αυτός να το επιτρέψει!! Ό Γέροντας καθόταν ήρεμος με ψυχή παιδούλα στο κάθισμα του γεμάτος δύναμη, διάθεση και ζωή.

Φαινόταν ανεξάντλητος και σαν πρωτάρης, πού δεν θέλει να του ξεφύγει τίποτα. «Ήρθες να με σταματήσεις, μου πε διαβάζοντας το συλλογισμό μου, μα εγώ δεν κουράστηκα αλλά αναγεννήθηκα. Άλλος σηκώνει τα βάρη, είπε στοχαστικά κοιτάζοντας τον Θείο Εσταυρωμένο». Έπειτα, βυθιζόμενος στον εαυτό του έμεινε αρκετή ώρα σιωπηλός για να πει λίγο έπειτα: «Αν έχεις ανάγκη δυνάμεως δεν έχεις παρά να Του ζητήσεις!! Ό άνθρωπος πού πιστεύει, δεν ορφανεύει ποτέ κι είναι πάντα όλα δικά του και έχει πάντα τα πάντα, τις περισσότερες φορές δίχως να τα ζητήσει. Τώρα δεν κάνω δικό μου έργο αλλά δικό Του... Αυτός πού κουράζεται σ' αυτό το ωραίο έργο του Θεού -εννοούσε την εξομολόγηση πού τώρα ασκούσε— δεν έχει ακόμα απαλλαγεί απ' τον εαυτό του και δεν έχει ελευθερία».
Έπειτα απ' αυτά, άφωνος βγήκα έξω για να κλάψω για τον εαυτό μου. Κύριε, είπα έπειτα από λίγο στην προσευχή μου, θέλω να βοηθηθώ πολύ για να παύσω να μιλάω για τον εαυτό μου αλλά και δύναμη να νικήσω τις αδυναμίες μου, ώστε όταν μιλάω να μιλάω για σένα και ποτέ για τον εαυτό μου. Αλήθεια, είναι γελοίο να θέλει ό άνθρωπος, το σκουλήκι της γης, να διορθώσει το έργο του Θεού έστω και μέσα απ' τ' ανθρώπινα πρόσωπα και μάλιστα όταν αυτά είναι άξια!

ΒΙΒΛΙΟΓΡΑΦΙΑ.ΤΟ ΟΔΟΙΠΟΡΙΚΟ ΤΗΣ ΨΥΧΗΣ ΜΟΥ. ΑΡΧΙΜ. ΚΛΗΜΕΝΤΟΣ ΖΩΚΑΡΗ.

Priest dies just weeks after completing his “life’s work”






"Born to a wealthy family in Edinburgh, he was first ordained as a Scottish Episcopal priest at the age of 27. However he loved Orthodox faith, describing it as 'the original church', and converted while in his 50s, later becoming an Archimandrite who was regarded as the most venerable in Scotland. He started the Orthodox Community of St Andrew – Edinburgh in the early 80s, with around 20 people attending sermons in his living room.


 But his flock grew and grew, eventually moving to a new church by the city’s Meadows park. Colleagues spoke of the congregation’s difficulty in buying a new church after the Meadows building became too small. Father Raphael Pavouris (corr), who knew with Father John for 21 years, said: 'He started with a very small congregation consisting of Orthodox Greeks and Romans. From 20 people we now have around 100. We moved to the meadows in 2003 but after eight years we needed a new church.' But the congregation had to raise £350,000 to buy their preferred building, the disused 18th Century Chapel Street church nearby which is currently owned by Edinburgh University. Father Raphael said: 'It was achieved days before his death. He had pleaded for help, and we had great help from an anonymous donation. He was absolutely delighted to hear the news from his bed. He had been bedridden for a year and a half. It’s almost the culmination of his life’s work. He died on Wednesday and we got the keys on Friday....'"


Priest dies just weeks after completing his “life’s work”

ONE of Scotland’s most senior priests died just weeks after seeing his “life’s work” complete – as his once tiny congregation bought a huge new church.
Eastern Orthodox clergyman John Maitland Moir died last week at the age of 89, and tributes have poured in from around the world to the respected cleric.
He started a combined congregation of the church in his Edinburgh living room in the early 80s, with just 20 worshippers attending.

Father John dies just week after completing his “life’s work”
This grew to number more than 100 in recent years.
But the church faced a steep bill to buy a suitably large property as Father John was plagued by heart trouble, leaving him bedridden for the last year of his life.
Despite that, the priest – described as a deeply humble and devout man – encouraged the Orthodox Community of St Andrew-Edinburgh to raise enough to buy a B-listed deconsecrated church.
When he heard the purchase was going ahead on 22 March he said “Glory be to God”.
On Wednesday last week he died at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
Although he lived a quiet life, Father John hit the national headlines in 2001 when he helped shelter an eight-year-old girl from her father.
Defying a court order that the girl should not leave the country without her father’s consent, he helped Ashley-Maria Black and her mother Valerie set up a new life in Greece.
Despite angry visits from the girl’s father Keith Black to his offices he refused to reveal the girl’s whereabouts, despite a court order, claiming Mr Black was using the girl to “harass” her mother.
Born to a wealthy family in Edinburgh, he was first ordained as a Scottish Episcopal priest at the age of 27.
However he loved Orthodox faith, describing it as “the original church”, and converted while in his 50s, later becoming an Archimandrite who was regarded as the most venerable in Scotland.
He started the Orthodox Community of St Andrew – Edinburgh in the early 80s, with around 20 people attending sermons in his living room.
But his flock grew and grew, eventually moving to a new church by the city’s Meadows park.
Colleagues spoke of the congregation’s difficulty in buying a new church after the Meadows building became too small.
Father Raphael Pavouris (corr), who knew with Father John for 21 years, said: “He started with a very small congregation consisting of Orthodox Greeks and Romans.
“From 20 people we now have around 100. We moved to the meadows in 2003 but after eight years we needed a new church.”
But the congregation had to raise £350,000 to buy their preferred building, the disused 18th Century Chapel Street church nearby which is currently owned by Edinburgh University.
Father Raphael said: “It was achieved days before his death. He had pleaded for help, and we had great help from an anonymous donation.
“He was absolutely delighted to hear the news from his bed. He had been bedridden for a year and a half.
“It’s almost the culmination of his life’s work. He died on Wednesday and we got the keys on Friday.”
Father John was in hospital with heart trouble when the news came through, and exclaimed “Glory be to God” when he heard the deal was finalised.
He paid tribute to Father John, saying “I can say I have lived and worked with a saint. He was our inspiration, our leader, and a spiritual father for hundreds of people.”
Father Raphael continued: “He was an extremely well educated man. Both his parents were noble, his father was a well known doctor. But he died penniless, he distributed to all who needed.
“He sold his house and we bought the church by the Meadows.”
Former Dean of Gibraltar Cannon Gordon Reid, who is now Rector of a church in Philadelphia, described him as a “great man, though so humble that he kept it hidden.”
He said: “[Father John] was a Scottish Episcopal priest when we first met in the 1960s, but even then he looked like an Orthodox priest, with a wispy beard and a Sarum cassock.
“He became a “weel-kent” figure riding a heavy iron bicycle around Tollcross and the Meadows.
“He used to have one meal a day only… he was very strict about his Orthodox diet.”
A Facebook page set up for Father John has seen tributes pour in from around the world.
Father Raphael said: “He did all he could to help and keep the law of God and the gospel.”


ΕΧΩ ΓΝΩΡΙΣΕΙ ΑΓΙΟΥΣ ΚΟΣΜΙΚΟΥΣ- ΓΕΡΩΝ ΝΙΚΩΝ


ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI







ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI

By St. John Chrysostom, from his 88th homily on the Gospel of St. Matthew (Mt 27:45-48), edited for length.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, and said, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? lhat is to say, my God my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that said, this man calhth for Elias. And straight way one of them ran, and took a sponge, andfilled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed and gave Him to drink.


There is a sign which He had promised to give them when they asked for it, saying to them. An evil and adulterous generation seekelh after a sign, and there shall no sign he given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas {Mt 12:39); tnat s'gn is encompassed in His cross and His death, His burial and His resurrection. And again, declaring in another way the virtue of the cross, He said, When ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall ye know that lam He. (jn 8:28). And what He said is to imply: When ye have crucified me, and think ye have overcome me, then, above all, shall ye know my might.
After the crucifixion, the city was destroyed, and the Jewish state came to an end; and the gospel flourished and His word was spread abroad to the ends of the world. Both sea and land, both the inhabited earth and the desert perpetually proclaim His power. Indeed, it was much more marvellous that these things should be prophesied by Him when He was nailed to the cross, than when He was walking on earth.


And observe when it took place. At midday, that all that dwell on the earth may know it, when it was day all over the world. After all their insulting, and their lawlessness, this is done, soon after they had let go their anger, when they had ceased mocking: it is then that He shows the deep darkness, in order that at least so (having vented their anger) they may profit by the miracle.
This miracle was more marvellous than for Him to come down from the cross; for He worked these things while being on the cross! For whether they thought He Himself had done it, they ought l have believed and to have feared; and if not Him but the Father, they ought to have been moved to compunction, for that darkness was a token of His anger at their crime.




And what they saw was not just an eclipse, but both wrath and indignation; and it continued for three hours. We are aware that an eclipse takes place in one moment of time, and those who observed the miracle know this.
How is it then that all did not marvel and account Him to be God? Because the race of man was then held in a state of great carelessness and vice. And this miracle was but one, and when it had taken place, immediately passed away; and no one was concerned to inquire into the cause of it, for great was their prejudice and their habit of ungodliness.


He Himself worked this miracle. And he did so that they might learn that He was still alive, and that they might become by this also more gentle. And he exclaimed Eli, Eli, Lima sabachthani? (Mt 27:46') so that unto His last breath they might see that He honors His Father, and is no adversary of God. And His cry is from the prophet, {My God. my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [Pss 22:1]), thus bearing witness
to the Old Testament in His last hour, and in Hebrew, so as to be plain and intelligible to them. By all things, Fie shows how Fie is of one mind with Him that begat Him.


Now observe here their maliciousness, ignorance, indulgence and foolishness. They thought (it is said) that it was Elias whom He called, and straightway they gave Him vinegar to drink. (Mt 27:48). But another came unto Him, and pierced His side with a spear. (Jn 19:34). What could be more lawless and brutal than these men carrying their madness to such great of a length, offering insult at last even to a dead body? Observe, however, how He made use of their wickednesses for our salvation. For after the blow the fountains of our salvation gushed forth from thence: andforthwith came there out blood and water...
And Jesus, when He had cried ivith a loud voice, yielded up the Ghost. (Mr 27:50). This is what He had said, have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again, and,  lay it down of myself, (jn 10:18). So for this cause He cried with a loud voice, that it might be shown that the act of His death is done by power. Mark the Evangelist informs us that "Pilate marvelled if He were already dead (Mk 25:44). And above all, this is the reason that the centurion believed; because He died with power: And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said. Truly this man was the Son of God. (Mk 15:39).
This cry rent the veil and opened the tombs and made the house desolate. And He did this, not as to offer insult to the temple (how could He, when he said 


Make not my Father's house a house of merchandise [Jn 2:16]) but declaring them to be unworthy even of His steadfastness; and this was also a prophecy of the coming desolation, and a declaration of the change into the greater and higher state and a clear sign of His might.
And He also showed Himself by what followed after these things, the raising of the dead. Elisha, on touching a dead body rose again (zKings 13:21); but now by a voice He raised the dead, His body continuing up there, on the cross! And they are not merely raised, but the rocks are also rent, and the earth shaken, so that they might learn, that He was able to strike themselves blind, and to rend them in pieces. For He that cleft rocks asunder and darkened the world, could have easily done these things to them, had it been His will. But He would not, but having discharged His wrath upon the elements, His will was to save them by clemency. But they did not abate their madness. Such was their envy. So even after placing a seal upon His tomb, and soldiers watching Him, He rose again, and they heard these things from the very guards; they even gave money, in order both to corrupt others, and to steal away the history of the resurrection.
Observe the great signs He had wrought, some from Heaven, some on earth, some in the very temple, at once marking His indignation, and at the same time showing that what were unapproachable are now to be entered, and that Heaven shall be opened. And they indeed said, If He be the King of Israel, let Him come down now from the cross, (Mt 27:42) but He shows them that He is King of all the world. And whereas those men said, 'Thou that destroyestthis temple, and buildest it in three days, (Mt 27:40) He shows that it shall be made forever desolate.


Again they said. He saved others. Himself He cannot save (Mt 27:42), but He, while abiding on the cross, proved this most abundantly for so many of his deceased servants. If one considers Lazarus' rise on the fourth day as a great and miraculous event, how much more for all those who had long ago fallen asleep, and at once appeared alive; and this was a sign of the future resurrection to come. For, many bodies of the saints which slept, arose, it is said, and went into the holy city, and appeared to many. (Mt 27:52-53). And the Centurion too then glorified God, saying, Truly this was a righteous man. And the multitudes that came together to that sight, returned beating their breasts. (Lk 23:47-48).
The power of the Crucified was indeed so great that after so many mockings, and scoffs, and jeers, both the centurion was moved to compunction, and many people. And some say of this centurion that he became a martyr in His name, after he grew in the faith.
And many women were there beholding afar off, which had followed Him, ministering unto Him, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of fames, and foses, and the mother of Zebedeessons." (Mt 27:52-53). All these events are closely observed by the women, for they were most inclined to feel for Him, who were most of all bewailing Him. Observe their diligence and attentiveness. They had followed Him ministering to Him, and were present even during the most dangerous moments and they saw it all; how He cried, how He gave up the ghost, how the rocks were rent, and all the rest.
And these women are the blessed ones that also first see the resurrected Jesus; the sex that was most condemned shows its courage and first enjoys the sight of the blessings. When the disciples had fled, they were present. But who were these? His mother, for she is called mother of James, and the rest. But another evangelist (Lk 22:48) informs us that many women also lamented over the things that were done, and smote their breasts. This, above all, shows the cruelty of the Jews, who gloried in things for which the women were lamenting; the former were neither moved by pity, nor checked by fear.


But Joseph went, and begged the body. (Mt 27:57-58). This was Joseph, who was concealing his discipleship; now, however, lie had become very bold after Christ's death. For neither was he an obscure person, nor unnoticed; he is one of the council, highly distinguished and extremely courageous. By his affection to Jesus, he exposed himself to death, taking upon him the hostility and animosity of many; he dated to beg the body of Christ and did not cease his efforts until he obtained it. He showed his love and his courage not only by taking Christ's body and burying it in a costly manner, but also by laying it in his own new tomb And this was not coincidental; in this manner, there could not be any bare suspicion that one had risen instead of another.


And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Maiy, sitting over against the sepulchre. (Mt 27:61). For what purpose do they await by the tomb? They had brought ointments, and were waiting at the tomb, so that if the madness of the Jews should relax, they might go and embrace the body. Do you see the women's courage, their affection, their noble spirit in money and their noble spirit even unto death? Let us men imitate the women; let us not forsake Jesus in temptations. Even though He was dead, they exposed their lives, but wc (for again I say the same things) neither feed Him when hungry, nor clothe Him when naked, but seeing Him begging, we pass Him by.
We say that Christ has done great things, having made angels of men; then, when we are called upon to give account, and required to furnish a proof out of this flock, our mouths will be shut and we will be absent of furnishing deeds in His name.


And let us do at any rate what each of us can accomplish, and from the present time purify our lives and attain the promised blessings, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory world without end. Amen.


Orthodox Heritage Page 6  Vol. 11, Issue 05-06

THE TIME HAS COME FOR US TO RISE UP AN ENCYCLICAL BY METROPOLITAN NICHOLAS OF MESOGAIAS, GREECE


THE TIME HAS COME FOR US TO RISE UP
AN ENCYCLICAL BY METROPOLITAN NICHOLAS
OF MESOGAIAS, GREECE
Dear People,

            I recently received an encyclical from Greece written by Metropolitan Nicholas of Mesogaia.  It spells out his pain for the crisis that his people are going through in Greece.  As the Orthodox Christian Church throughout the world that celebrates the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior this Sunday, on May 5th, we have an obligation to pray for our suffering brothers and sisters in Greece and throughout the world where they are being battered by Muslim fanatics. Metropolitan Nicholas’ encyclical is profound in its Christian approach to heal the suffering of his people that has been brought about by greed, lies, self-interests, political corruption and disrespect for the Church and its institutions.  In his message to his people, he is trying to bring back a sense of dignity, self-worth, ethnic pride  and responsibility to the suffering citizens of Greece. 

            Metropolitan Nicholas is well prepared to offer profound insight into the spiritual disease that is afflicting Greece and the great majority of the whole world. His parents are physicists and his main interests in getting a higher education was physics.  He received his B.S in physics from  the Aristotelian University of Thessalonica, Greece; an M.A. in Astrophysics from Harvard University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT; and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering and Hemodynamics from Harvard University.  For four consecutive years, he worked as a researcher at the Vascular Laboratory of New England Deaconess Hospital, at the Department of Anesthesiology of the Massachusetts General Hospital, and at the ICU of the Children’s Hospital in Boston.  He also served as a consultant for NASA and Arthur D. Little Co. in Space Medical Technology

            He was awarded a Master’s in Theological Studies (M.T.S.) and a Master of Theology (Th. M) by Holy Cross School of Theology, Brookline, Massachusetts, and a PhD in Theology by the University of Thessalonica, Greece, on Orthodox Bioethics.  In spite of his scientific pursuits, his profound quest for God led him to Mount Athos, a monastic state on the periphery of Greece, where he was tonsured a monk.  There, in the persons of unknown ascetics, in the life of the simple monks and the prayer of the Athonite desert, he recognized the uniqueness of the Orthodox Faith and truth and experienced the revelation of the “hidden man of the heart.” In 2004 he was elected Metropolitan of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki by the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece.  Having lived the life of science and technology, he discovered that the greatest treasure in life is Jesus Christ and His Holy Orthodox Church.  His encyclical reflects the unique Christian soul of this outstanding hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Greece. I pray that you will be blessed by the contents of this unique encyclical.

This encyclical was translated by:
+Fr. Constantine (Charles) J. Simones, April 24, 2013 in Waterford, CT. USA



ENCYCLICAL OF METROPOLITAN NICHOLAS OF
MESOGAIAS GREECE, APRIL 12, 2013
THE TIME HAS COMEFOR US TO RISE UP

May the Grace and blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ protect all of you, the community, the country and our Church.

            I have been thinking about writing this encyclical for a long time and directing it to your attention.  Up until the last minute, I was not sure if I should do it or not.  But during the last few days, amidst the situation of the pervasive panic that prevails in our country; in view of the spasmodic decisions made by those who manage our lives and our future; in view of the changing promises and denials that have traumatized our morality and our dignity; the constant barrage of unending heavy taxes; the reception of numerous telephone calls and messages from the citizens of our jurisdiction that desperately requested some kind of intervention and assistance in the dramatic financial bind they find themselves, I decided to write it.

            The salaries and the pensions have been cut, workers have been fired, the numbers of the unemployed are growing and the finances of many have dried up.  And suddenly we are now being asked and threatened to pay extra taxes on our homes as if the nation is now poorer than the poor. We have come to a point where instead of expenses for our food, our homes and our daily needs, we now pay for taxes and the national debt.  It is not difficult for anyone to realize there is a feeling of asphyxia that prevails with the majority of our fellow citizens.

            Who could have ever imagined that our noble and proud people would have reached the plight that we are in? That we who have given the last drop of our sweat, our effort, and our worth are now being ridiculed throughout the world? That we are now without any hope or guarantee, that our nation is oppressing us through our tears and our blood?

             It is self-evident that we cannot endure anymore.  This is not an hyperbole. But we must say it.  We must shout it into the ears of those responsible for our country: This is as far as we can go.  We cannot do anymore. Find other solutions.  These may be more difficult but they can be more acceptable, more intelligent, more certain and more human.  If you can’t do it, admit your inability to do so.  There is no shame in someone not being able to do this.  But it is unacceptable to insist for us to accept the possibility of our wholesale catastrophe.  You have created for us a nation which offers us less than that which is needed to live.  You must understand this, you are not only obligated to those who have given you loans, you are also obligated to the people that you have pledged to serve.  Since you have not been able to bring about the salvation of the nation through political cooperation, this will be brought about through the requests and initiatives of the people.    

My Beloved Brothers and Sisters,

            The time has come when the people must show the caliber of its power, to make known its limits of endurance.  The hour has come that all of us together must take into our hands our future.  As long as we remain intransigent, as long as we remain subject to the unbearable decisions of our leaders we will also be responsible for bringing about our slow but certain disintegration.  If we do not wake up, we are finished.  There will be no future.  It is time therefore for us to rise up.  All things must change.  And since others will not change things, it is necessary for all of us to enter the game.  Whoever is pained by the situation we are in and loves the truth must take part in this change.  There is no one who is superfluous in this undertaking.  All great changes in life have been brought about by heroic people, mainly young people.  These changes did not come about by agreements or coercion but by healthy revolutions.  All of us together must and can bring about change for our future if we so will. Not by force, but by the power and determination of the people.

            This will not be done with insignificant choices but with clarity, heroism and intelligence.  It is certain that our responsibility as a people is not insignificant.  Dishonesty, indifference, easy profits, insulting relationships, attacks against our faith and traditions, disrespect for our nation and its laws, and inflexible claims have resulted in the shattering of the lives of our youth which are not honored at all. Others are not only to blame, whether they are speculators, foreign interests or politicians.  Our measure of blame for our current plight is not negligible.  The road of repentance and change is the only way. We cannot change other people.  But we have the ability and the responsibility to change our idiosyncrasies and way of life.  Let us therefore start this revolution of change in ourselves.  That is the more heroic way.

            I must confess that as a Church they have made us part of the crumbling national system.  It is for this reason that the people often misunderstand us. We have embraced the nation (the political leadership), we have depended on it and because of this our relationship with the people has been terribly afflicted.   We have served the pained and the poor but we have not embraced them as part of our being.  At least, we have not managed to have the people understand us that way.  The milk of its mother, the Church, has been contaminated and its face has turned away from the breast of the Church.  That is the worst of things that can happen.  The people are the most precious possession we have after God.  The nature of the Church is the very breath of the people.   Lately we have limited this breath to the people.  The hour has now come for this life giving breast feeding to began again.

            I certainly do not deny the fact that we are also victims.  Someone has fooled us.   Someone has used our issues with culpable impotence.  Someone internationally has dragged us into the mouths of the beasts of this world. This was done either unintentionally or either with evil intent.  And this is where we have arrived.  We have been brought down to nothingness in regards to our wealth and our dignity. In spite of this we have not gone after those responsible.  Now we urgently look for solutions.  We look for solutions that do not demean the people; but elevate their honor.  The time has come for those who make decisions for us must understand what is happening in our homes, in our streets, in our stores and in our daily lives.  They must understand what is happening in our souls.  They will not find this out by meeting with the European Troika nor through their council meetings.  They will learn this from the people.  They must hear our voices.  It cannot happen any other way. 
            I would therefore like to say to those who cannot pay the so-called extra tax on immovable property, not to despair.  You should know that all of us united will be at your side and we will proclaim together; “You cannot take from those who do not have anything to give.”  Let them understand that we do not have what they request.  We cannot respond.  We have reached our limits and we will refuse to allow them to finish us off.  If we delay in our response, they will know it.  Saint Kosmas of Aitolos prophesied two hundred fifty years ago saying: “They will burden you with heavy and unbearable taxes, even on your windows and your hen houses but they will not get them in time.”  Truthfully they will not get them in time.  Do not bend before this financial bankruptcy.  We are already living it.  Deny the bankruptcy of dignity, of history and of our national consciousness.  These we can and should reclaim to the very last drop, even now at the very last moment.

            Mesogaia and Lavriotiki is a blessed area that up until recently pulsated with development and prosperity.  But recently more and more people in desperation are turning to the Church or to wherever they can for comfort and help.  Many have been financially brought to their knees.  They cannot feed their children.  They cannot sleep.  They are living the present threat and fear for the future.  They have private property but they do not have money.  How will these people pay for their property?  Where will they find the money?  Will they confiscate our homes?  Will they turn off our electricity?  Is it possible that we will be thrown into darkness; especially those of us living in Keratea or Lavrio, the very location of the biggest power station in our land?  Whatever may happen, my dear brothers and sisters, I want you to know that the local Church will offer everything it has in order to stand at your side.  If anyone has their power cut off, we will cut off the power in all our Churches. We will have weddings with candles in our hands and Divine Liturgies with tears in our eyes.  In no way we will accept the fact that when any homes are thrown into darkness that our Churches will continue to function with lit chandeliers.

             Therefore all of us now must pressure our representatives more than those who have given us loans.  This must happen because our need to live goes beyond the need for them to govern us.  It is because our dignity is worth more than anything that is self-serving. It is because our national pride is based on a history that is envied by all peoples.  It is because we look to Europe more so as a family which understands the problems of people in spite of the noose that leads our communities to asphyxia.

            There is nothing else that is left for us other than for us to once again transform Greece into our country, our history, our identity. We should follow the examples of our ancestors; have our own way of life, turning away from an imprudent lifestyle of the newly rich.  We should turn toward the dignity of frugality and temperance.  We should turn away from submissive obligations and turn toward heroism, ethnic pride. We should turn away from worldly distractions and universal admiration. Only in this way, as the people say, God will not abandon us because in this way we also will not abandon Him.

With Paternal Prayers and the hope for reawakening
Metropolitan Nicholas of Mesogaias and Lavriotikis

ΕΧΩ ΓΝΩΡΙΣΕΙ ΑΓΙΟΥΣ ΚΟΣΜΙΚΟΥΣ ΚΑΙ ΠΑΝΤΡΕΜΕΝΟΥΣ Γ. ΝΙΚΩΝ


Ο ΔΑΙΜΟΝΙΣΜΕΝΟΣ ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΥ ΕΞΟΜΟΛΟΓΟΥΜΕΝΟΥ Γ. ΝΙΚΩΝ.


ΜΕΓΑΛΟ ΘΑΥΜΑ ΑΓΙΟΥ ΡΑΦΑΗΛ ΠΩΣ ΓΙΝΕΤΑΙ ΑΥΤΟ ΓΕΡΩΝ ΝΙΚΩΝ


Θλιβερές διαπιστώσεις από το Πάσχα.






Θλιβερές διαπιστώσεις από το Πάσχα.

Όπως πολλές φορές, έτσι και εφέτος, πολλοί θα προσέλθουν στην Θεία Κοινωνία χωρίς σωστή προετοιμασία. Χωρίς δηλαδή μετάνοια, χωρίς εξομολόγηση, χωρίς φόβο Θεού.
Και μας γεννάται ή εύλογος απορία, γιατί το κάμνουν αυτό; Δεν λυπούνται την αθάνατη ψυχή τους, ή δεν φοβούνται την Κόλαση;
Αυτός πού θέσπισε την Θεία Κοινωνία δεν θέσπισε και το Μυστήριο της Μετανοίας και Εξομολογήσεως; Αυτός πού νομοθέτησε το ένα δεν νομοθέτησε και το άλλο; Πώς λοιπόν δεχόμεθα το ένα σκέλος και απορρίπτομαι το άλλο;


Τί άραγε είναι ή Θεία Κοινωνία; Είναι μήπως κάποιο έθιμο; Είναι μήπως κάτι για τα «χρόνια πολλά;» ή «χρυσό δοντάκι» για τα παιδάκια;
Δεν είναι ό ίδιος ό Θεός πού στο πρόσωπο του Χριστού ήλθε να μεταβάλει την φύση μας, από κοινή να την κάμει καινή και από θνητή αθάνατη;
Πώς λοιπόν χωρίς καμία προετοιμασία προσερχόμεθα και λαμβάνομε Αυτόν; Πώς χωρίς μετάνοια, χωρίς αποκοπή και απομάκρυνση από την αμαρτία, είναι δυνατόν να μας αγιάσει;


Πόσοι και πόσες με πλήθος αμαρτιών δεν προσέρχονται και κοινωνούν;
Πόσοι βλάσφημοι, πόσοι άδικοι, πόσοι πού χρόνια έχουν να πουν την καλημέρα με τούς συνανθρώπους τους, πόσοι πόρνοι, πόσοι μοιχοί, πόσοι πού αποφεύγουν την παιδοποιία, πόσοι πού συμβιούν παρανόμως δεν  προσέρχονται και κοινωνούν του Σώματος και Αίματος του Χριστού; Αυτού πού ήλθε για τις αμαρτίες του κόσμου  και πού αυτοί δεν θέλουν να τις εγκαταλείψουν και σε πείσμα Αυτού τον λαμβάνουν ακάθαρτοι;

Δυστυχώς ένα 70% των προσερχόμενων (εποχιακός), Χριστούγεννα και Πάσχα, στην Θεία Κοινωνία, προσέρχονται χωρίς μετάνοια και εξομολόγηση και κατά συνέπεια όχι εις ζωή αιώνιο λαμβάνουν Αυτόν, άλλ' εις Κόλαση αιώνιο.


Μία μόνο' εικόνα του ζωτικού αυτού θέματος, πού δόθηκε από μέρους του Κυρίου, είναι ικανή να καταστήσει αναπολόγητους όλους τούς ένοχους.
Ή εικόνα αυτή βρίσκεται στην παραβολή του Άσωτου.
Εκεί είναι του καθ' ενός μας ή διαγωγή και ή υπόδειξη. Διότι, ποιος δεν έζησε ή δεν ζει ακόμη μακριά από τον Θεό Πατέρα, μακριά από το πατρικό, με τις ορέξεις του ή τις σαρκικές και κοσμικές επιθυμίες του; Δηλαδή ποιος δεν είναι άσωτος; Και τί του υποδεικνύεται να κάμει; Να μετανοήσει. Να έλθει στον εαυτό του. Να σκεφτεί την κατάσταση του και να επιστρέψει ως ό άσωτος, να φωνάξει το ήμαρτον, να εξομολογηθεί δηλαδή.
Και εφ' όσον ό κάθε άσωτος παραδεχτεί τις αμαρτίες του, μετανοήσει, επιστρέψει και εξομολογηθεί, τότε θα γίνει εκείνο πού πρέπει να γίνει. Δηλαδή; Θα γίνει αλλαγή της «στολής». «Φέρετε την στολή  την πρώτη ». Θα αφαιρεθεί ή βρωμερή στολή της χοιροκαλύβης, θα φορεθεί άλλη, καθαρή, και έτσι θα παρακαθίσει στην Τράπεζα ένθα ό Μόσχος (ό σιτευτός) πολύς.
Αυτό λοιπόν πού υπέδειξε ό Χριστός στην παραβολή του άσωτου, για εμάς τούς άσωτους στο 70% των προσερχόμενων, δεν εφαρμόζεται.

Παρουσιάζομε πίστη χωρίς πράξη. Παρ' ότι ό Κύριος μαζί με την πίστη εζήτησε και ακριβή τήρηση των εντολών του διά των έξης: «διδάσκοντες αυτούς τηρεί πάντα, όσα ένετειλάμην υμίν» (Ματθ. ΚΗ' 20).
Εάν λοιπόν είναι αληθή αυτά πού γράφομε, επιβάλλετε μετάνοια και εξομολόγησης, παλαιών και νέων κατ' εξοχήν της εσχάτης αυτής θανάσιμου αμαρτίας, της ακαθάρτου προσελεύσεως μας εις το Μυστήριο, απλώς με την δικαιολογία ότι ήταν Πάσχα.
* * *


Μία άλλη θλιβερά διαπίστωση από την εορτή του Πάσχα είναι και ή ακόλουθος.
Ορισμένες κυρίες και δεσποινίδες πού άλλαξαν εν ονόματι της θεάς Μόδας (με την υπόδειξη του Πονηρού) τα γυναικεία τους ρούχα και φόρεσαν ανδρικά, αδιαφορούντες για την απαγόρευση του Θεού, ό Όποιος λέγει: «Ουκ εσται σκεύη ανδρός επί γυναικί, ουδέ μη ένδύσηται ανήρ στολήν γυναικεία, ότι βδέλυγμα (σίχαμα) Κυρίω τω Θεώ σου εστί πάς ποιών ταύτα» (Δευτερονόμιον ΚΒ' 5)' αρκεί να είναι με την μόδα αδιαφορούντες για κάθε ιερό και όσιο... Ακόμη με την ανδρική τους αυτή αμφίεση προσήλθαν και στους Ιερούς Ναούς και έκαμαν Ανάσταση. Μερικές ακόμη από αυτές με την ανδρική αυτή ενδυμασία προσήλθαν και στην Θεία Κοινωνία.
Τις δυστυχισμένες! Δεν αρκέσθηκαν στην ασθένεια τους, στην πτώση τους άλλ' σκέφτηκαν να την μεταφέρουν και άλλου. Δεν είχαν τίποτε άλλο να προσφέρουν. Αυτά είχαν στο πανέρι τους, αυτά προσέφεραν. Αλλ' ό Χριστός έχει μιλήσει καθαρά" έχει δηλώσει" «άνένδεκτόν εστί του μη ελθειν τα σκάνδαλα" ουαί δέ δι' ου έρχεται. Λυσιτελή αύτώ ει λίθος μυλικός περίκειται περί τον τράχηλον αυτού και έρριπται εις την θάλασσαν, ή Ίνα σκανδαλίση ένα των μικρών τούτων» (Λουκ. ΙΖ' 1-2).
Ας τούς έλειπε αυτό το Πάσχα.... Ουαί εις αύτάς!
Είναι αλήθεια όμως και θα ήταν άδικο εάν δεν το γράφαμε ότι είδαμε και συντροφιές, σοβαρών ανθρώπων, αξιωματούχων πού και οι ίδιοι και αι γυναίκες τους και τα κορίτσια τους ήσαν σεμνά, σοβαρά ενδεδυμένοι, πού προκαλούσαν το δέος και τον θαυμασμό.

Παρακολούθησαν την Ανάσταση, παρέμειναν στην Θεία Λειτουργία και έπειτα παρεκάθησαν στην τράπεζα την Πασχαλινή, εν αντιθέσει με άλλους οι όποιοι κατά την στιγμή πού οι Εκκλησίες συνέχιζαν την ακολουθία της Αναστάσεως αυτοί εγκατέλειψαν την Εκκλησία και αναχώρησαν θορυβούντες και χαρακτηρίζοντας τούς πιστούς οπισθοδρομικούς και κουτούς, διότι παρέμειναν στην Θεία Λειτουργία.
* * *
Μία άλλη θλιβερή διαπίστωση των ήμερων του Πάσχα ήταν ή έξης: Ότι πολλοί ζήτησαν πνευματικό κατά την Μ. Εβδομάδα και δεν εύρισκαν. Όχι μόνον σε επαρχιακές πόλεις αλλά και στην Πρωτεύουσα....
Είναι αλήθεια ότι ή κούραση των Ιερέων και κατ' έξοχη την Μ. Εβδομάδα είναι μεγάλη, αλλά κάτι πρέπει να γίνει για ειδικές και έκτακτες περιπτώσεις.


Ή Εκκλησία πρέπει με επικεφαλής τούς κατά τόπον Επισκόπους να οργάνωση Α Βοηθειών των ψυχών, ως έχει ή Πολιτεία Α Βοηθειών των σωμάτων.
Πρέπει οι πιστοί να γνωρίζουν ένα αριθμό τηλεφώνου όπου θα μπορούν ανά πάσα στιγμήν του 24/ώρου του έτους να ζητήσουν και να βρουν Πνευματικό.
Διότι πολλοί και εις Νοσοκομεία και εις άλλες δύσκολες και απρόβλεπτες περιστάσεις ζητούν ενίοτε ιερέα και δεν βρίσκουν. Άλλωστε δεν γνωρίζομε πότε ό καθείς θα άφεθή... ελεύθερος από τον Διάβολο.
Νομίζουμε ότι ή Εκκλησία μας, πού τόσα άλλα επέτυχε, θα φροντίσει να ρύθμιση και το ζωτικό αυτό κενό προς σωτηρία ψυχών και δόξα Κυρίου.

(Από το περιοδικό ΑΓΙΑ ΜΑΡΙΝΑ Αθηνών πού εξέδιδε ό αείμνηστος εκλεκτός εργάτης τον Ευαγγελίου Δημήτριος Παναγόπουλος. Αιωνία αυτού η ανάμνησης).

Εκδόσεις «Ορθόδοξος Κυψέλη», τηλ. 2310212659.

ΡΩΤΗΣΑ ΤΟΝ ΜΟΝΑΧΟ ΠΩΣ ΗΤΑΝ Ο ΠΟΝΗΡΟΣ ΕΧΘΡΟΣ. ΓΕΡΩΝ ΝΙΚΩΝ


Hymn of Kassiani



The Hymn of the Sinful Woman by St. Kassiani as sung on Holy Tuesday during the Bridegroom Matins leading up to Great and Holy Pascha (Easter) For more information on the life of St. Kassiani and the writing of this hymn, please see:

HOLY WEEK


ΥΠΟΔΟΧΗ Ι. ΛΕΙΨΑΝΟΥ (ΠΑΛΑΜΗΣ) ΑΓ. ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΥ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΜΑΡΤΥΡΟΣ ΣΤΟ Ι. ΝΑΟ ΑΓΙΟΥ ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΥ ΠΕΡΑΜΑΤΟΣ, ΤΗΣ Ι. ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟΛΕΩΣ ΝΙΚΑΙΑΣ - ΑΤΤΙΚΗΣ










Συντάχτηκε από τον: Νικόλαο Κατή, της 28-04-2013.

Σήμερα της 28-4-2013 ο αγαπητός μας Ενοριακός Ναός του Αγίου Γεωργίου Περάματος, με πρωτοβουλία του πρωτοπρεσβύτερου π. Ιωάννου, το πρωί Κυριακή των Βαΐων, υποδέθηκε τεμάχια Λειψάνων προσαρμοσμένα σε παλάμη χειρός του τροπαιοφόρου Αγίου Γεωργίου. Βλέπετε και της σχετική φωτογραφία όπου οι ιερείς, ο προϊστάμενος π. Ιωάννης και ο π. Αθανάσιος κρατούν ευλαβικά την παλάμη του Αγίου Γεωργίου.
Τα λείψανα του Αγίου Γεωργίου του θαυματουργού και εφόρου της ενορίας αυτής θα παραμείνουν και θα εκτεθούν σε λαϊκό Προσκύνημα κατά την Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα, της Αγία Ανάσταση και της Εβδομάδας της Διακαινησίμου, κατά την οποία εορτάζει και ο Άγιος Γεώργιος.
Σε όλους τους ευλαβείς χριστιανούς σας ευχόμαστε καλή και Αγία  Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα και Καλή Ανάσταση. Τέλος σας περιμένουμε στην πανήγυρη του Ναού μας την Δευτέρα της Λαμπρής, όπου όλες αυτές τις αγίες ημέρες θα μπορείτε να προσκυνήσετε τα χαριτόβρυτα ιερά λείψανα του Αγίου Γεωργίου. 

ΣΤΟΙΧΕΙΑ ΙΕΡΟΥ ΝΑΟΥ ΑΓΙΟΥ ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΥ ΠΕΡΑΜΑΤΟΣ: Λεωφόρος Δημοκρατίας 26 Πέραμα, τ.κ. 18863, Δήμος Περάματος, Νομός Αττικής, τηλ.: 210-4411990. 

Δευτέρα, 29 Απριλίου 2013

ΤΙ ΕΙΔΑ ΚΑΙ ΤΗ ΕΖΗΣΑ ΚΟΝΤΑ ΣΤΟ ΓΕΡΟΝΤΑ ΦΙΛΟΘΕΟ ΖΕΡΒΑΚΟ ΣΤΗΝ ΠΑΡΟ. «Ο Γέροντας μου 'πε πάλι σήμερα στη συντροφιά πού κάναμε κοντά στο κοιμητήρι, να ζω σαν ταξιδευτής.»







ΤΙ ΕΙΔΑ ΚΑΙ ΤΗ ΕΖΗΣΑ ΚΟΝΤΑ ΣΤΟ ΓΕΡΟΝΤΑ ΦΙΛΟΘΕΟ ΖΕΡΒΑΚΟ ΣΤΗΝ ΠΑΡΟ. «Ο Γέροντας μου 'πε πάλι σήμερα στη συντροφιά πού κάναμε κοντά στο κοιμητήρι, να ζω σαν ταξιδευτής.»



Ο Γέροντας μου 'πε πάλι σήμερα στη συντροφιά πού κάναμε κοντά στο κοιμητήρι, να ζω σαν ταξιδευτής. Ή πολιτεία μου πρέπει νάχει σά βασικό  και  μοναδικό  σκοπό  την θέωση. Όλα τ' άλλα είναι δευτερεύοντα και χωρίς ουσία, γιατί όλα σαν του σύννεφου τη σκιά διέρχονται και παρέρχονται. Μέχρι τώρα αυτό δεν τόχα υιοθετήσει ουσιαστικά είπα στο Γέροντα, με αποτέλεσμα νάχω μέσα μου μια παγωμένη ερημιά.

Τότε ό Γέροντας μου 'πε πώς οι πιο πολλοί, διέρχονται από μια ξηρασία πνευματική για να καταλάβουν έντονα και ουσιαστικά τις δωρεές του καλού Θεού Όταν δοκιμάζεσαι σιώπα και όταν πειράζεσαι στάσου όρθιος και μη συνθηκολογείς σε καμιά περίπτωση με την αμαρτία πού ουσιαστικά είναι ό θάνατος. Εμείς παιδί μου, έχουμε πλασθεί για την αιωνιότητα και προς τα κει πρέπει να πλέει το σκάφος μας. Πίσω μην κάνεις ποτέ. Μα και όταν τραβάς μπροστά, μην αφήνεις πίσω σου ακαθαρσίες.

Να φροντίζεις ό δρόμος πού ανεβαίνεις το Γολγοθά σου να 'ναι άνυδρος απ' τα νερά του κόσμου για νάναι πάντα στην Αλήθεια ή πορεία σου και ή νοσταλγία σου, μέσα στην πρόγευση της Ανάστασης. Νάχεις πάντοτε ζωντανά μέσα σου τα βιώματα της συντριβής και της άκρας ταπείνωσης και ιδίως όταν θεωρείς το Σταυρό. Ή θέαση του Σταυρού πριν αρχίσεις να προσεύχεσαι, πρέπει να ανανεώνει μέσα σου, όλη την τραγωδία του Θείου Πάθους και να ζεις τον πόνο του αγαπημένου σου Ιησού με την αποδοχή του πόνου πού καθαρίζει. Αν δέ πλύνεις το ένδυμα της ψυχής σου με τα δάκρυα σου δέ θα γίνεις ποτέ αληθινός και ούτε θα μπορέσεις ποτέ να καταλάβεις την αιτία πού ή Θεότητα πήρε σάρκα.
Τα έναντιώματα του κόσμου θα τα ξεπεράσεις με την προσευχή σου, όπως και τη δύναμη για να νικάς το κακό θα την παίρνεις απ' τη Θεία Κοινωνία. Να σιωπάς και να κρύβεις τούς πόνους σου, γιατί έχουν και άρωμα και μεγαλείο για να μην τούς κλέψει ή ανθρώπινη δόξα και χαθεί ό κόπος σου. Καλύτερα να σε θεωρούν όλοι αμαρτωλό παρά Άγιο. Ό Θεός ξέρει καλύτερα από μας τι μπορούμε και τί θα μπορούσαμε να κάνουμε. Γι' αυτό αν θέλεις και το αγαθό της ελευθερίας να απολαύσεις κάνε το θέλημα σου, θέλημα του Θεού.
Είναι βαρύς, είπα, ό Σταυρός του ανθρώπου πού ζητά την Αλήθεια. Εκείνος με κοίταξε σχεδόν άγρια και για λίγο, έμεινε σιωπηλός. Έπειτα με επέπληξε και μούπε έντονα: «Ξέρεις να ταπεινολογείς μα ταπεινός δεν ήσουν ποτέ. Ό Θεός σου μίλησε πώς τολμάς εσύ ένας ευτελής να τον αμφισβητείς; Αν ή εμπιστοσύνη μας δεν ξεπεράσει το μέτρο γι' Αυτόν, θα μείνουμε κολλημένοι για πάντα στο βράχο της ανάγκης».
Αυτό το βράδυ δεν κοιμήθηκα. Ήμουν εκτεθειμένος στο ανελέητο σφυροκόπημα της συνείδησης μου. Θεωρούσα με πολλά δάκρυα το χθες και διψούσα το αληθινό με οποιοδήποτε τίμημα. Όταν είχα φύγει απ' το Γέροντα παρ' όλο το μαστίγωμα, ήμουν ειρηνικός.

Θεέ μου, ας μην τελειώσει ακόμα ό δρόμος μου σ' αυτό το Νησί κι ας είμαι εξόριστος.



 ΒΙΒΛΙΟΓΡΑΦΙΑ.ΤΟ ΟΔΟΙΠΟΡΙΚΟ ΤΗΣ ΨΥΧΗΣ ΜΟΥ. ΑΡΧΙΜ. ΚΛΗΜΕΝΤΟΣ ΖΩΚΑΡΗ.

THE LORD’S ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM




Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
THE LORD’S ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM
1980, 30 March

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
Today Christ enters the path not only of His sufferings but of that dreadful loneliness which enshrouds Him during all the days of Passion week. The loneliness begins with a misunderstanding; the people expect that the Lord's entry into Jerusalem will be the triumphant procession of a political leader, of a leader who will free his people from oppression, from slavery, from what they consider godlessness - because all paganism or idol-worship is a denial of the living God. The loneliness will develop further into the dreadful loneliness of not being understood even by His disciples. At the Last Supper when the Saviour talks to them for the last time, they will be in constant doubt as to the meaning of His words. And later when He goes into the Garden of Gethsemane before the fearful death that is facing Him, His closest disciples, Peter, John and James - whom He chose to go with Him, fall asleep, depressed, tired, hopeless. The culmination of this loneliness will be Christ's cry on the cross, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" Abandoned by men, rejected by the people of Israel He encounters the extreme of forsakenness and dies without God, without men, alone, with only His love for God and His love for mankind, dying for its sake and for God's glory.


The beginning of Christ's Passion is today's triumphal procession. The people expected a king, a leader - and they found the Saviour of their souls. Nothing embitters a person so much as a lost, a disappointed hope; and that explains why people who could receive Him like that, who witnessed the raising of Lazarus, who saw Christ's miracles and heard His teaching, admired every word, who were ready to become His disciples as long as He brought victory, broke away from Him, turned their backs on Him and a few days later shouted, "Crucify Him, crucify Him." And Christ spent all those days in loneliness, knowing what was in store for Him, abandoned by every one except the Mother of God, who stood silently by, as She had done throughout her life, participating in His tragic ascent to the Cross; She who had accepted the Annunciation, the Good Tidings, but who also accepted in silence Simeon's prophecy that a sword would pierce her heart.


During the coming days we shall be not just remembering, but be present at Christ's Passion. We shall be part of the crowd surrounding Christ and the disciples and the Mother of God. As we hear the Gospel readings, as we listen to the prayers of the Church, as one image after another of these days of the Passion passes before our eyes, let each one of us ask himself the question, "Where do I stand, who am I in this crowd? A Pharisee? A Scribe? A traitor, a coward? Who? Or do I stand among the Apostles?" But they too were overcome by fear. Peter denied Him thrice, Judas betrayed Him, John, James and Peter went to sleep just when Christ most needed human love and support; the other disciples fled; no one remained except John and the Mother of God, those who were bound to Him by the kind of love which fears nothing and is ready to share in everything.
Once more let us ask ourselves who we are and where we stand, what our position in this crowd is. 


Do we stand with hope, or despair, or what? And if we stand with indifference, we too are part of that terrifying crowd that surrounded Christ, shuffling, listening, and then going away; as we shall go away from church. The Crucifix will be standing here on Thursday and we shall be reading the Gospel about the Cross, the Crucifixion and death - and then what will happen? The Cross will remain standing, but we shall go away for a rest, go home to have supper, to sleep, to prepare for the fatigues of the next day. And during this time Christ is on the Cross, Christ is in the tomb. How awful it is that, like the disciples in their day, we are not able to spend one night, one hour with Him. Let us think about this, and if we are incapable of doing anything, let us at least realise who we are and where we stand, and at the final hour turn to Christ with the cry, the appeal of the thief, Remember me, Lord, in Thy Kingdom! Amen.