Received 245783681871598

Archbishop Makarios of Australia: “Let us open our hearts to the miracle of God’s love that was manifested in the manger of Bethlehem”

Received 245783681871598

On 24 December 2023, the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia made a pastoral visit to the Capital City of Australia.

His Eminence received a warm welcome from the Greek Orthodox faithful of the capital city, who in great numbers filled out the Church of Saint Nicholas, where among the large congregation were, among others, the Ambassador of Greece to Australia, His Excellency Mr. Georges Papacostas, the former Ambassador of Australia to Greece, Mr. Arthur Spyrou, the President of the Hellenic Club of Canberra Mr. Andrew Satsias and the former President of the Parish – Community of Saint Nicholas Mr. John Loukadellis.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, during which he concelebrated with His Grace Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis, Archiepiscopal Vicar of Canberra, the Archbishop held a Memorial Service for the repose of the souls of the late Petros Satsias and Efstratios Loukadellis, fathers of Mr. Andrew Satsias and Mr. John Loukadellis.

Afterwards, His Grace Bishop Bartholomew welcomed His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia on behalf of the Christ-loving people of Canberra, expressing everyone’s filial respect and love for him, as well as their resounding joy and thanks for his honourable visit to their city on Christmas Eve.

For his part, Archbishop Makarios first analysed the Gospel passage of the day, where the genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ is presented, and the Epistle reading from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews. As he pointed out during his sermon, the commemoration of the genealogy of the Lord on the eve of the feast of His Birth, has the purpose of reminding us that Christ “did not come into the world from nowhere”, but, on the contrary, “His coming was the culmination of centuries of preparation, longing, prayer, and hope.” “In the Nativity of Christ, we see the fulfillment of God’s promise to His people,” His Eminence pointed out and added: “We see God approaching us in the most intimate and profound way – by becoming one of us, by taking on our human nature, by entering into the complexity of the human existence.”

At another point, the Archbishop emphasised that through the Divine Incarnation the infinite love of God becomes visible, tangible and accessible to people. That is why he urged everyone, especially during the holy days which we are celebrating, to reflect on the importance of the Lord’s coming into the world. “Let us open our hearts to the miracle of God’s love manifested in the manger of Bethlehem,” he pointed out, “and let us rejoice knowing that, through the Incarnation, God has become united forever with humanity, offering us the gift of salvation and the promise of eternal life.”

In closing, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia thanked everyone for the warm welcome they offered him, while he wished that the Nativity of Christ would fill their hearts with hope, joy, and peace.

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