Metropolitan Emmanuel of France officiated the Divine Liturgy on Sunday after the Epiphany at the Metropolitan Church of St. Stephen in Paris, in the presence of offikalioi of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and a limited number of believers in accordance with the guidelines for the protection against the coronavirus.
In his sermon, the Metropolitan of France referred to the need for repentance and spoke in detail of Christ’s exhortation: “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!”
The Metropolitan explained the significance of repentance meant and how it applied to changing the way we think and behave. “Repentance transforms us personally and also changes society as a whole. As a community we need interaction with fellow human beings, a society that is determined by our repentance and conversion to Christ. We do not want change in our lives and in the world without God’s blessing. If we adopt a secular way of thinking, then everything we achieve will collapse like a house of cards. Anything outside of God’s grace may seem appealing, but it is not blessed. Everything that is blessed by God is the right thing to do. So the change according to God that we seek depends on the actions and initiatives of each of us. For example, we will never adopt an environmentally friendly behavior if we do not understand that all creation is the work of God. Unless we truly love our Creator and all His works. If there is no inner change, nor absolute trust in the work of the Lord, and if we do not feel our duty to protect the environment because it is God’s creation and not our, then every action is futile. At the beginning of the new year, it is an opportunity to set new goals and start our personal transformation for the better. We have heard it from the Lord in today’s Gospel. Our repentance, our understanding of our sinfulness, our repositioning in many matters concerning our lives are those elements what will get us to paradise and we will taste the fruits of the kingdom of heaven,” underlined Metropolitan Emmanuel of France.
Source: Metropolis of France