“At the end of the day, it is love that leads us to the light, while hate leads us to darkness and decay.” This was the central message of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, during the sermon he delivered before the faithful of Saint Nektarios Parish, Perth.
His Eminence, who is visiting the capital of Western Australia, on the Second Sunday of Luke, October 2, officiated at the Holy Church of Saint Nektarios in the suburb of Dianella, was also joined by Their Graces, Bishop Elpidios of Kyanea and Bishop Emilianos of Meloa, as well as clergy from the city of Perth.
Addressing the congregation during the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence analysed the Gospel pericope of the day, which shows Jesus Christ preaching love even to our enemies. “Love your enemies” and “as you would have men do unto you, do likewise unto them”, were two of the points of the Gospel passage, on which the Archbishop focused his attention, noting that this is the core of Christian teaching, the one that makes Christianity different from every other religion, since it calls men to transcend their human nature, becoming “partakers of the divine nature” by grace, and to be able to live like God.
He recalled, moreover, that Christ himself obeyed this revolutionary exhortation, since at the end of His earthly life, being on the Cross of the Martyrdom, he exclaimed: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” The example of our Lord, as pointed out by His Eminence, was subsequently followed by the Saints of our Church, especially those who were martyred for their faith, yet praying until the last moment for their persecutors and executioners.
The Archbishop also referred to the patron saint of the Parish, Saint Nektarios, who, although he is not one of the Martyrs of the Orthodox Church, yet his life was a martyrdom, as he passed through the furnace of slander and injustice. “But he never accused those who accused him, never turned against those who wronged him, but, following the teaching of Christ and the example of our Saints, forgave all those who accused him and wronged him”, His Eminence characteristically remarked.
Concluding, with the hope that this revolutionary teaching of Christ will be a source of inspiration for all of us, so that we seek to overcome in our lives, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios interpreted: “At the end of the day, the strongest is not the one who has hate, but the one who has love. Love is power. Hate is misery, it is ill will. Love at the end of the day is what leads us to the light. Everything else leads us to darkness and decay.”