“Almighty is he who realizes his weakness before God,” emphasized Archbishop Makarios of Australia, during the homily he delivered at the end of the Vespers on the feast of Saint Christophoros the Great Martyr, which was held on the evening of Monday, May 8, at the Holy Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady in Sydney.
Archbishop Makarios officiated at Vespers joined by Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis, Bishop Emilianos of Meloa, Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis, Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta, and Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis, as well as The Chancellor of the Holy Archdiocese, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Christophoros Krikelis, and by many clergy from all over Australia.
The Vespers Service had a festive character, as during the current two days, along with the memory of Saint Christophoros, the local Church also celebrates the anniversary of the election of Archbishop Makarios, by the Sacred and Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as Archbishop of Australia (May 9, 2019).
During his Homily, Archbishop Makarios first referred to the honored Saint, Saint Christophoros, reminding the congregation of the miraculous way in which his conversion to Christ took place. He spoke of the event in which a small child appeared before him and asked him to pass him to the opposite bank of a river. He willingly responded relying on his physical strength, but with great effort, he managed to cross the opposite side, as if he was carrying the whole world.
There he revealed that he had lifted on his shoulders the creator of the world, namely Christ, and from that point, as the Archbishop explained, the change and transformation in the life of the Saint took place. “From the moment someone meets Christ, his life changes”, he underlined and pointed out that “this is how Saint Christophoros was credited with becoming all-powerful spiritually while he was all-powerful physically”.
The Archbishop also commemorated the venerable and ever-remembered Metropolitan Christophoros (Knitis) of Australia, the first Shepherd of the fifth continent, while he also referred to Saint Ieronymos of Simonopetra Monastery, whose memory is also commemorated on May 9 by our Holy Church.
On this occasion, Archbishop Makarios addressed his paternal wishes, for their patronal name day, to the Chancellor of the Holy Archdiocese, Archimandrite Christophoros, and to the Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Saint George Yellow Rock, Archimandrite Ieronymos. Archbishop Makarios with both of them many and blessed years to continue serving the Orthodox Church of Australia with the same devotion and diligence.
Also, Archbishop Makarios made a special mention of the blessed Elder Emilianos Simonopetritis, who fell asleep on May 9, 2019, noting among other things that “with his presence, ethos and teaching, he gave a new character to the monasticism of Mount Athos”.
Finally, the Archbishop spoke visibly moved on the four-year anniversary of his election to the Archiepiscopal throne of Australia, expressing his anguish to guide the ship of the local Church “only for the glory of Christ and the salvation of people”. “I always say that I want God’s will to be done in my life and not mine,” he emphasized.
And he continued, full of emotion: “Sometimes, I start some things, I have some thoughts, I have some ideas, but I always say to Christ: “I am starting, but if You realize that what I am doing is not in the interest of the Church or is not for the salvation of people, then bring a thousand obstacles so that what I want will not be done, but what You want will be done”. So pray that God directs us all, so that His will is done in the Church and in the world, and not our own will.”
In closing, Archbishop Makarios thanked everyone who attended the Vespers Service, the Bishops, the reverend clergy, and the faithful, who traveled to Sydney from all parts of Australia to wish their Shepherd well and participate in the celebrations of the fourth anniversary of his election.