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Home / WRITINGS & HOMILIES OF ARCHBISHOP STYLIANOS / PENTECOST John 7:37-52, 8:12

PENTECOST John 7:37-52, 8:12


“Save and sanctify all who know

You as God”

 

I will try to say a few words to analyse this

sublime line taken from the hymn for this

great day of Pentecost.

In Cyprus, the suffering island, where

Greek Orthodox identity is more purely, fully

and faithfully upheld, they call this day ‘the

day of the flood’. Which means that the heavens

and God Himself flooded the world – not

with threatening waters, as when the world

was destroyed in the time of Noah. Instead,

He has flooded the world with endless gifts,

which the life-giving death of our Lord Jesus

Christ, the Word of God Incarnate, has

opened up for all of us on earth.

That is why this is a great and irrepeatable

day. Within it, the whole mystery of the divine

Economy reaches its pinnacle. God became

flesh for this day. Christ was sacrificed

for us to reach this day, to reconcile us with

God the Father, to wash us of our sins.

And

who among us does not have sins? Not only

the original sin! This is the least of our concerns

today, unfortunately. It was a great sin,

but we are washed of it in our Baptism.

Each of us has their own sins: sins of the

day and sins of the night, our immeasurable

sins. I with mine, and you with yours.

 

However, we are cleansed of these sins by the

death of the God-Man, the Theanthropos. It

is the precious and holy Blood of the Lord

which cleanses us of our sins, and washes us

in the font of regeneration. It offers rebirth.

And after all this, the springs of the Holy

Spirit gush forth today.

Following the Ascension, God sends the

Holy Spirit to guide us unto all truth, and

only in so doing is the knowledge of God

made complete. We worship God the Father;

we have come to know God the Son as a man;

today we shall meet the Holy Spirit poured

out, proceeding, being distributed but not divided,

in the form of tongues of fire.

After all was finished, we can say that we

have now come to the knowledge of the true

God. We no longer believe in idols. We no

longer believe in ourselves. We believe in God.

Not an imaginary god, but God in Trinity.

We are, then, “those who know God”. We

have come to the awareness of truth. We have

seen the true light, we have received the

heavenly Spirit. Precisely what we chant at

every Liturgy!

However, more is needed. When we know

God, and when we confess the true God

while knowing the truth, we still need the

forgiveness, pardon, benevolence and mercy

that come from above. This is why we chant

“Save and sanctify all who know You as

God”. It is not enough for us to be saved.

 

It is not enough for Him to take us from the left

where the goats are, and deliver us to the

right where the sheep are. It is not enough for

Him to make us righteous after we were sinners.

It is not enough for Him to turn us, out

of children of wrath, into children of light

and obedience and adoption and love. Justification

is not enough for us. We want sanctification.

This is why the cry of the Church

reaches sky-high; we heard it in the hymn we

chanted this morning: “Save and sanctify all

who know You as God”. Not just a few people,

or even many people – but all!

This is the prayer of the Church. This is

the wish of the Church today. This is the supplication

of the Church today. This is the

proclamation of the Church today. That no

one is condemned forever to death and

decay. Because to those who were sitting in

darkness and the shadow of death, light has

shone in Christ. Now there is light, life, salvation

and sanctification. But if even one person

remains outside the kingdom of God, we will

have sorrow. If only one loses salvation, humanity

will mourn. Because He created all

people out of nothing; all creation is His. For

this reason, the flood of the Holy Spirit today

will cleanse, enlighten, save and sanctify. Let

us honour this great day with repentance,

with edification, with doxology towards the

Trinitarian God.

Amen.

By Archbishop Stylianos of Australia

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One comment

  1. Great sermon and overall a great internet resource for Orthodox Christians in Australia. Well done.

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