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Archbishop Makarios of Australia: “Neither surrender nor compromise with a lie”

In a atmosphere of reverence, on Sunday evening, 6 March, 2022, at the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas, Marrickville, the first lenten Vespers took place, the vespers also known as “the Vesper of Forgiveness”.

The Vespers were officiated by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, accompanied by their Graces, Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis, His Grace Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia, as well as many priests of Sydney.

At the end of the vespers, according to the custom of our Church, the Archbishop exchanged the kiss of love and forgiveness with the Bishops, the priests and the faithful, and wished everyone a good and blessed Great Lent.

Firstly, during the sermon he delivered before the congregation, His Eminence urged everyone to set a basic goal for this year’s Holy and Great Lent: “Neither surrender nor compromise with a lie”.

As His Eminence explained in the introduction, anything that breaks man’s relationship with God is defined as α sin. Focusing then on the original sin, which is presented by our Church on the Sunday before the beginning of Great and Holy, the Archbishop distinguished that a lie was the cause of the exile of the first-created Adam and Eve from paradise, pointing out that the lie, opposite of truth, leads to sin.

He clarified that lying is primarily an internal affair, as we use it not only against third parties, but also towards ourselves.

Referring to Saint Nicοdemus of Mount Athos, who had aptly described the stages of sin, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios explained that the first stage is the attack, that is, the entry of a wicked thought into the human mind. If man does not remove this reasoning and continues to wonder about it, then he essentially starts a dialogue with the lie, which can lead to his consent to sin.

In view of the following spiritual period, the Archbishop called on the faithful to aim neither surrender nor compromise with lies, primarily by engaging in an internal dialogue, free from illusions and selfishness.

“What the Church asks of us,” he stressed, “is to live the truth with effort, with toil, with deprivation, with personal dialogue, with much prayer, with self-denial and with self-control.” “And the truth is that which, as the Apostle Paul says,  will set us free,” he added.

“Let us all set this goal”, he urged in conclusion and continued: “Let us all hold hands and unite tightly, and proceed on the narrow and uphill path that leads to the Resurrection. And if we are all together, united, then we will be stronger and the devil will not be able to influence us. Aim at this time to live the truth of Christ. ”


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