Metropolit Josephs Pinsebudskab 2020

Belo­ved Fat­hers and Fait­h­ful in Christ,

Gre­e­tings and bles­sings to you and your fami­lies as we pre­pa­re to cele­bra­te the Holy Pen­tecost!

As we see the ima­ges of so many pla­ces set afla­me, let us con­tem­p­la­te the ima­ges of fire that our Ortho­dox Church will offer us this wee­kend. On Sun­day mor­ning, we will chant festal hymn: “All the nations in the city of David beheld won­ders, when the Holy Spi­rit des­cen­ded in fie­ry tongu­es.” This hymn and many others spe­ak to the tea­ching that the feast of Pen­tecost hea­led the divi­sion of huma­ni­ty into com­pe­ting nations as a result of the Tower of Babel. In the Old covenant, God fashi­on­ed for Him­self a peop­le to recei­ve the Law. In the New Covenant, God brings all the nations into uni­ty through the gift of the Holy Spi­rit – as Christ fore­told to the Sama­ri­tan Woman a few short weeks ago that all would wors­hip God “in spi­rit and truth.”

We live in a time when events have pro­vo­ked us to burn with the pas­sions of anger and divi­si­ve­ness. This wee­kend, the Church will call us to burn with love and recon­ci­li­a­tion towards all.

I would like to pose question: Which fire will you welco­me into your hearts?

The­re is an instructi­ve note pla­ced befo­re the Pray­ers of Pre­pa­ra­tion of Holy Com­mu­ni­on that reads: “If thou desi­rest, O man, to eat the Body of the Master, appro­ach with fear, lest thou be scor­ched; for it is fire. And, befo­re drinking the divi­ne Blood into com­mu­ni­on, recon­ci­le thy­self to them that have wron­ged thee. Then dare to eat the “Mysti­cal Food.” To recei­ve the fire that is com­mu­ning with our Cre­a­tor, we must put out the fla­mes of our anger and jud­g­ments of others and seek recon­ci­li­a­tion – even with tho­se who have wron­ged us.

As we cele­bra­te Pen­tecost in the midst of the­se tumul­tuous days, let us as Ortho­dox Chri­sti­ans quench the fla­mes of our hatred and pas­sions that we may be set afi­re with the Gift of the Holy Spi­rit.

Let us cul­ti­va­te the fru­its of the Holy Spi­rit – love, joy, pea­ce, long suf­fe­ring, kind­ness, good­ness, fait­h­ful­ness, and self con­trol – and work towards the love and recon­ci­li­a­tion of all.

Amen.

May you have a bles­sed Feast of Pen­tecost – the Bir­t­h­day of Christ’s Church!

With fer­vent pray­ers for hea­ling and pea­ce,

( S) + Metro­po­li­tan JOSEPH