On February 20, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, His Grace Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta, officiated at the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior in theArchdiocesan District of Northcote, Victoria.
His Grace officiated at the Matins and presided over the Divine Liturgy, while in his sermon he referred primarily to the special period of the Triodion in which we find ourselves, conveying to the faithful the wishes and prayers of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia. He noted that this solemn period gives Orthodox Christians the opportunity to turn to their souls and be spiritually renewed.
Thereafter, His Grace Bishop Evmenios focused on the very didactic biblical parable of the Prodigal Son, emphasising that it does indeed stands out among the other parables of Christ “as the sun of heaven stands apart from the other stars.” His Grace then pointed out that due to its great messages, it has been characterized as the “Gospel of the Gospels”.
At the center of the homily, His Grace Bishop Evmenios spoke of the unlimited power of repentance and the generous mercy and indescribable affection of God and Father for all of us and all his misguided children, saying: “The parable of the prodigal son overturns our morality. God, as a loving Father, never leaves us and never forsakes us. He waits patiently and with paternal affection for our repentance and our return to Him, and continued: “He waits patiently and with paternal affection for our repentance and our return to Him. Our God is a God of love and mercy. He loves and forgives those who freely ask for it. But our forgiveness from God passes through our neighbor. In order to receive forgiveness from God, we must also forgive others who have offended us and apologise to those who have wronged us. “
In closing, His Grace Bishop Evmenios pointed out that the power of repentance is fully experienced within the Church, while he also did not fail to mention his recent visit to the venerable Center of Orthodoxy, where he asked for and received the blessing of His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for the beginning of his hierarchical ministry. On this occasion, he reminded the congregation that we should feel special joy and blessing that the Holy Archdiocese of Australia belongs to the Ecumenical Throne. “It is a great privilege and blessing,” he stressed, “and each of us should visit our Ecumenical Patriarchate at the first opportunity, if we travel to our Homeland.” “We will gain great strength, our faith will be strengthened and we will see things very differently.”