St Athanasios 14

Archbishop Makarios of Australia: “May you not be friendless, but have friends as Christ had”

St Athanasios 14

On the Saturday of Lazarus, 27 April, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, liturgised at the Cemetery Church of Saint Athanasios, in Rookwood, Sydney. Upon his arrival, His Eminence was received by the Parish Priest Father John Grillis, the members of the Parish Council and the faithful who were present.

After the gospel reading, the Archbishop presented and interpreted the events connected with the miracle of the Resurrection of the Holy and Righteous Lazarus, which is recounted by the Evangelist John, while he also referred to the later life and course of the resurrected Saint Lazarus, who went to Cyprus and ministered to the Church of Christ as Bishop of Kition.

He particularly focused and deepened the honorific designation of “friend”, which is attributed to Lazarus, defining his relationship with Christ. “Christ was a perfect God and a perfect man,” His Eminence reminded, “and, like all people, He had friends.” After referring to other similar references found in the Gospel, as well as to examples from the lives of the Saints, he underlined the importance of essential and sincere friendship between people and emphasised characteristically: “May you not be friendless, but have friends as Christ had”.

“Following the example of Christ, we should have friends and love our friends, we should also not be afraid nor ashamed of our friends, whatever mistakes they make in their lives, and have the courage to support them”, His Eminence urged, among other things, while concluding his address, he duly wished the faithful well who attended the church service, for the upcoming Holy and Great Week and for the life-giving Resurrection of our Lord.

It is noted that at the end of the Divine Liturgy His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia tonsured two readers, Mr. Sotirios Anagnostopoulos and Mr. Nikolaos Panagopoulos, and then conducted a Memorial Service at the grave of his late predecessor, Archbishop Stylianos of Australia.

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