On the afternoon of Holy Monday, April 26, Archbishop Makarios of Australia presided over the Bridegroom Service (Orthros of Holy Tuesday) was performed at the Church of All Saints in Belmore, Sydney.
In his sermon, the Archbishop presented to the congregation the message from the Gospel pericope of the day, pointing out that our Church always, and especially during the Holy Week, offers us significant messages through the services and the gospel readings.
In this case, the Archbishop focused on the cunning effort by the Pharisees to trap Christ, asking him the question: “Which commandment is greater than the law?”. “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” he responded to Christ, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.”
The Archbishop emphasized that a necessary condition for one to enter the Kingdom of Heaven is to love both God and one’s neighbor.
“All of us, if asked, will say that we love God,” he remarked, “because we go to church, light candles, some pray, get the antidoron or have holy water at home.”
He pointed out, however, that “you cannot say that you love God and do not love your neighbor,” noting that this is a sign of hypocrisy in modern times.
He concluded by saying that it was not enough to go to church, adding that “if we do not love people, then we will be like the Pharisees of the Gospel today, whom Christ rebuked for their hypocrisy and dark thoughts in their hearts.”
Archbishop Makarios ordained two new readers
It is noted that at the end of the service, Archbishop Makarios ordained Anastasios Kotoros and Panagiotis Konstantis as readers, whom he praised their devotion to the Church, as well as the many spiritual gifts they have.
“I am grateful to the Lord because our Archdiocese has two new Readers,” said the Archbishop, noting that “this is the first step for the priesthood.” He sent his wishes to the two young people saying: “May God give you this desire to want to serve Ηim only from the psalter but also from the Holy Altar.”
In closing, he urged young readers to work so that their very lives become a book for all to read and learn about what Christ is and what the Church is.