BOSTON – His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros paid an archpastoral visit to St. Demetrios in Weston, MA on the occasion of the parish’s 60th anniversary.
The Archbishop was enthusiastically welcomed by the officials of the parish council and the Philoptochos while the children gave him flowers.
He officiated at the Divine Liturgy assisted by the local hierarch Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, the presiding priest of the parish Fr. Nicholas Krommydas, and many clergy, most of whom were retired.
The Archbishop in his sermon said among other things that “every Sunday is a kind of Pascha and a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We may not sing Christos Anesti all year long; but on each new Sunday, we commemorate Christ’s victory over death. With every Gospel reading – every parable, every miracle, every commandment of our Savior – the new and better life is revealed, the hope of resurrection shines forth.”
“In today’s Gospel, this truth is proclaimed directly. Saint Luke tells us how Christ came to the gates of a city just as a funeral procession was passing by. It was for a young man, the son of a widow.
“The mother’s grief must have been overwhelming! Of all that we have in this world, nothing is more precious than the people we love. For any parent, the loss of a child is an unspeakable sorrow. How much more so, for this woman who lost her only son, and did not have even the comfort of her husband to bear this pain with her. One can hardly imagine the mourning and lamentation on that day.
“This is the scene that Christ encountered as He entered the city. Or rather, this is the moment that Christ chose to come to the city, in order to meet the procession at that sad moment. For in the ways of the Lord, there is no chance or accident: He weaves all things together according to His will and His wisdom.
“Christ came there to show the compassion of God: not just for this one widow, but for all of us in our sorrows and woes. He came also to show the power of God that can undo even the worst human sufferings. And so to this mother, He speaks words that we hear in the Scriptures over and over again: Do not weep!”
The Archbishop went on, saying, “the procession stops. Christ lays His hand on the casket. He speaks to the dead: ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’ And immediately the boy sits up; he begins to speak. With joy the mother receives her son alive again; but the crowd is seized with great fear. For they realize how close they have come to the immeasurable power of God.”
At the end of the Liturgy the parish held a reception in honor of Archbishop Elpidophoros, and the parishioners of all ages had an opportunity to greet their new spiritual leader.