NEW YORK – His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America made a arch pastoral visit to the parish Holy Archangels in Port Washington New York which celebrated its name day, where he was cordially welcomed by the clergy, the parish council, the congregation and the small children who greeted him at the entrance of the nave with bouquets of flowers.
It is one of the most well organized parishes of the Archdiocese with a new build nave and community center. The congregants kept all the necessary measures about the corona virus wearing masks and keeping the distance.
Archbishop Elpidophoros in his homily said among other things that “I am so very pleased to be with you for this magnificent feast of your Patron Saint – the Commander of the Heavenly Host, Michael, whose name – Μιχαήλ, is a question: “Who is like God?” What a question to ask this day! A question for all of us to consider, and whether our lives are like God and reflect His love for all creation.
Indeed, in addition to the Archangel Michael, we celebrate all the Holy Angels and Archangels – the “Bodiless Powers” as they are known. Our Liturgy today is a living icon of the Heavenly Liturgy where Angelic Beings are described in the Apocalyptic vision of John in the Book of Revelation:
“Then I looked, and I heard the sound of multitudes of Angels round about the throne, together with the Living Beings and the Presbyters, and the number of Angels must have been thousands upon thousands, even ten thousand times ten thousand.”
He also said that “angels beyond counting are always in the presence of God. They surround Him, as the Apocalypse of John reveals. And when we manifest the reality of God in our lives through reflecting the Divine Energies, they surround us as well,
And what are those Energies? They are the characteristics that we affirm of God: love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, wisdom, peace and joy. When we live in the light of these virtues, we demonstrate that God truly dwells in our hearts, and the Holy Angels move to be in the presence of God – like iron to a magnet.
In comparison to us, the movements of the Angels are effortless. As it says in the Psalm we call the Προοιμιακόν, which is read at the beginning of every Vespers Service: «He makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire.”
The Archbishop also said that “but for you and for me, my beloved Christians, our actions and, indeed, our ability to change and to flow differently are not so easy. But this is not so much a disadvantage as it is a challenge.
In another Psalm, it says: “What is a human being, O Lord, that You remember us? … You have made us a little lower than the Angels, but with glory and honor have You crowned us.”
Yes, dear brothers and sisters, we were made lower than the Angels, but God did not become an Angel. He became a Human Being! Ο Λόγος σαρξ εγένετο! The Word became flesh, not a spirit. He is the One Who is crowned with glory and honor, as we read in today’s Epistle to the Hebrews.
Therefore, when we receive Holy Communion, we know, by faith, that we receive the Flesh of the Lord – His Body and Blood. We receive Him in the Mystical Supper that is enacted in every Divine Liturgy, and our hearts can become the Throne of God.”