BOSTON – The Metropolis of Boston celebrated its Thronal Feast on St. Andrew’s Feast Day with an archieratical Divine Liturgy at the Annunciation Cathedral of Boston officiated by His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston with the participation of many priests.
Cardinal Sean O’Mally of Boston was also present, observing this year as well the tradition that was stared many years ago of exchanging visits of the Patrons Saints of both the Roman Catholic Archdiocese and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston. The hierarchs spoke of their deep friendship for each other, but also of the powerful joy that Saint Andrew felt about bringing the Evangelion to his brother Peter – and how that joy must be ours as we proclaim that same Gospel to the world together.
Metropolitan Methodios in his speech said the following:
“We thank God this morning for blessing us with the opportunity to celebrate the venerable commemoration of St. Andrew the First Called, founder and Patron Saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and our Metropolis.
“Cardinal Sean our joy is enhanced by your presence and participation. It is indeed an honor for us. It is a great blessing from God that the exchanging visits of our two churches for our respective saints was established in Rome and Constantinople and here in Boston several decades ago.
“Our fraternal bond is symbolically manifested and strengthened together with our desire for this unity in Christ to advance still further in adherence to the will of our Savior ‘that all may be one’ (John 17:21).
“We read in the first chapter of the gospel according to St. John that St. Andrew was filled with such jubilation and enthusiasm upon encountering the Lord, that he hastened to find his brother Simon in order to share with him the Evangelion – the good news – indeed the most significant news in the history of mankind – that ‘we have found the Messiah’ (John 1:42) which means the Christ. The joyous news is followed immediately by the encounter of the two brothers with Jesus during which the Lord looks at Simon and gives him the name Cephas which means Peter (John 1:42). From that moment, Peter becomes the chief of the Apostles and the church is built upon the rock of his faith. Thus, the encounter of Andrew and Peter with Jesus becomes the inauguration of the history and realization of the church. The two brothers are united from that moment not by blood alone, but by something much more significant: the common confession that ‘we have found the Messiah,’ namely the Christ.
“This confession of Sts. Peter and Andrew that ‘we have found the Messiah’ constitutes the fulfillment of the expectations of all humanity, of every human being, irrespective of race, color, gender or nationality. It also comprises the fulfillment of today’s people who do not cease to search for the Messiah.
“The proclamation ‘we have found the Messiah’ must also be heard in our day. It is the supreme calling of the church. In order however for the church to fulfill this imperative, I believe the two brother Apostles must again proclaim their confession together. Our Churches, the Catholic and Orthodox are called to rediscover the common voice of the two Apostles, the common confession of faith, and their ‘fraternal bond’ in the body and blood of Christ so that the world may believe in Christ the Messiah.
“I thank you Your Eminence for honoring us with your presence. I deeply cherish your friendship and thank you for the sterling and inspiring leadership you offer to all of God’s people.
“May Almighty God, through the intersessions of St. Andrew whom we commemorate today and his Apostle brother St. Peter, continue to inspire your ministry.”