Prayer and hope were the main topics on which Patriarch Daniel’s sermon focused on Bright Friday when the Orthodox Church marks the feast day of the Life-Giving Spring of the Theotokos.
Patriarch Daniel said that especially now when the world experiences a sad and difficult period due to the coronavirus pandemic, we need ‘stronger faith, healing, help to restore our health or to protect us from sickness.’
“Let us, therefore, pray to the Saviour Jesus Christ, the healer of our souls and bodies, and to the Mother of God, who are sources of healing, to strengthen us in faith, to multiply our love for God and our peers and to give us hope that we will pass through this trial with His help and helping the sick, the elderly, those who suffer from loneliness, disease, and old age.”
“We Christians always have hope and, as the Holy Apostle Paul said, whether we live or die we belong to the Lord; much more important than health is salvation, that is, our union with Christ the Source of Life and Healing,” the Patriarch said April 24.
Patriarch Daniel explained in his homily why the feast of the Lifegiving Spring was ordained during Bright Week. “To show us that Christ the Lord is the Source of Healing, the Physician of our bodies and souls.”
“Christ the Lord healed many sick people. He gave them good health and raised three people from the dead. Through His miracles, He showed His merciful and humble love.”
“Therefore, the Church has ordained that in this Bright Week, in which we especially celebrate Christ risen from the dead, we should remember His healing power. Thus, the Sundays from Easter to Pentecost are Sundays of spiritual and physical healings.”
The Mother of God received the gift of healing from Christ, the Patriarch noted, because she is the closest human being to Christ, and she carried Him in her womb and then in her arms.
Patriarch Daniel also referred to the theology of the festal icon, saying that Christ stands in the centre of the icon and that the Theotokos becomes a source of healing.