On the feast of the Synaxis of St. John the Baptist, on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 6, at the namesake Holy Temple in Parramatta in Sydney, the Great Archieratical Vespers Service was officiated by the Protosyncellus of the Archdiocese, Bishop Emilianos of Meloa.
Bishop Emilianos, after conveying to the faithful of the Parish the paternal wishes of Archbishop Makarios of Australia, spoke about the honored Saint, Saint John the Forerunner, focusing first on the fact that he was a witness of God’s great love for man. During the Epiphany, the Bishop explained, for the first time God confessed that Jesus Christ is his beloved Son: “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” “Nevertheless, He gave His Son to be crucified and die,” Bishop Emilianos pointed out, adding that “in order for someone to give something that he loves so much, he must be motivated by at least equal love.”
Subsequently, Bishop of Meloa noted that “essentially God confessed to Saint John the Forerunner, at the time of baptism, how much He loves His Son.” “But why did He choose Saint John to honor him with this confession?” the Bishop wondered. “Because Saint John the Forerunner loved God with all his soul, with all his heart and with all his mind,” he replied, recalling that when he realized that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, he urged his disciples to follow Him, accepting to part with them even though He loved them so much.
Finally, Bishop Emilianos emphasized that “if we want to be receptive to God’s love, we must love God more than ourselves.” “We must give to God the best part of ourselves,” he urged, “We must give Him our love.” “And then we will taste the love of God,” the Bishop concluded.