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Palm Sunday at the Church of Saint Spyridon, Sydney

On Palm Sunday, 28 April 2024, with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Sevasteia presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Church of Saint Spyridon in Kingsford, Sydney, and was joined by the Parish Priest Father Steven Scoutas and Assistant Parish Priest Father Stavros Ivanos, while the Parish President Mr. Elia Economou was also present among the crowded congregation.

During his sermon, Metropolitan Seraphim, after speaking about the event of Christ’s triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem, focused on the epistle reading of the day, from Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

Analysing first of all the exhortation of Apostle Paul to the Gentiles: “Brethren, rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice”, he pointed out that “this joy that Paul has in prison, this joy is transferred today by the Church to all of us. This Joy is for the communion with Christ. Joy for Christians is a given, because Christ gives not temporary joy, but fulfilled joy, the one that fills the human heart.”

Photographs: Elia Economou, Sue Mayson, James Phillips

He also placed special emphasis on the exhortation: “Let your gentleness be known to all people”, to explain that gentleness means kindness, being able to see the positives of one’s neighbour and not focus on their weaknesses. “Gentleness means accepting my brother or sister as they are. I do not judge them; I do not criticise them I do not condemn them. And not only to our friends and relatives, but to all people”, stressed Metropolitan Seraphim. “Gentleness is a virtue that needs strength of soul to be able to give it,” he added, and urged everyone, especially during Holy Week, to try, through this virtue, to come closer to Christ.

Also, Metropolitan Seraphim referred to the value of prayer and trust in God, while concluding the interpretation of the epistle reading, he focused on Paul’s exhortation: “whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”. This is the most appropriate advice that the Church can give today, pointed out Metropolitan Seraphim, who concluded his homily with a plea to the faithful to try to truly and heartily live the Week of the Lord’s Passion, preparing for the Resurrection.