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Archbishop Makarios: “Love truth because the truth sets us free”

On the evening of Holy Monday, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia was with the pious faithful of the Parish-Community of St Euphemia, Bankstown in Sydney, where he presided at the second Bridegroom Service (Matins of Great and Holy Tuesday) at the end of which, he addressed the congregation with spiritually edifying words.

Firstly, analysing the Lord’s Parable of the Ten Virgins, he noted that by placing it on the second day of Holy Week, the Church wants to remind us that virginity is a great virtue but the purity of the soul is greater than physical purity. In fact, as the Archbishop explained, our Church promotes the virtue of sobriety, where purity of body and soul coexist and accompany each other.

His Eminence then focused his attention on the Gospel passage read during the service which refers to the frightful “woes” of our Lord against the hypocritical Pharisees. Outlining the traits of the Pharisees, the Archbishop spoke of people who had adopted a particular way of life where, although they lived by religious rules, their actions had no impact either on God or on their neighbour. “They did things for the sole purpose of deceiving their conscience”, he characteristically distinguished, pointing out that at the same time the Pharisees attempted, unsolicited, to censure other people. However, since their behaviour was far from the truth and deeply hypocritical, Christ adeptly compared them to whitewashed tombs that look beautiful and well-kept on the outside but are full of impurities on the inside.

Concluding his address, His Eminence invited everyone to examine themselves, asking whether or not their behaviour and attitude to life is like that of the Pharisees. He summed up by reminding the congregation that the basis of hypocrisy is the act of lying, which, as he underlined, “is an element that dissolves every relationship and every attempt to advance spiritually”.

He instructed everyone to avoid lying and, to this end, addressed a piece of practical advice: “Avoid lying to yourself. Because when a person lies to someone, it means they have become familiar with lying and cannot principally and primarily come to terms with who they are themselves. Therefore, let us stop lying to ourselves and be honest. We must love the truth, because the truth sets us free”.

Finally, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios thanked Parish Priest, Fr Panagiotis Protopsaltis, Deacon Meliton Haridemos, as well as the Administrative Committee of the Community of St Euphemia, for both the warm welcome and hospitality extended to him and for the work they carry out and tireless efforts for the progress of the Church and Hellenism in the region.