Sermon of His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York on St Thomas Sunday at Resurrection Cathedral in Buenos Aires
Christ is Risen!
With these joyous words, this blissful greeting I congratulate our dear Bishop John on your feast day, and all of his assistance, with this bright Paschal day! Our dear Vladyka Leonid, I likewise congratulate you, as well as our dear Vladyka Kirill of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and all of you, dear brothers and sisters!
We gathered today to glorify the Risen Savior. Bright Week has ended, and yet today was have this Divine, graceful Light! We can only repeat the words uttered by Apostle Thomas when he saw the Savior, recognizing his Teacher, his Redeemer and Healer, and said “My Lord and my God!” We must also firmly say and repeat these words in our lives: “My Lord and my God!” That is the way of the Orthodox Christian, we are confirmed in our Faith, as we praise our Savior.
We have more support in that we are visited by the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign", which for over 700 years, and also for almost 100 years, has been the Hodigitria of our Russian diaspora world-wide, visiting every corner of the globe. The icon is kept in its cathedral in New York, at the residence of the Synod of Bishops, and we feel how this holy image bolsters us and helps us pray, beseeching help in our spiritual and Church lives. This power, this blessing, this Maternal love comes from the Most-Pure Theotokos. And today, no matter what surrounds us, the Mother of God is here! Her grace is palpable, we feel that Christ grants us new life for salvation. Our happiness lies where our Salvation is.
Dear Vladyka John, thank you for your invitation! We thank you and all of your helpersyou’re your hospitality, for our joint prayers. Continue to pray here like this, to serve like this, and convert many people to the Orthodox Faith. There is a great deal of work to do, but together we can create something holy, we can work towards salvation and the good of our dear Orthodox Church.
The Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God blesses us, but time passes so quickly, and on Tuesday evening we depart. But let us not forget these prayers, for this blessing shall remain. We would like to present a visible image of this Icon, so we give you a painted copy along with an embroidered covering. They were prepared in Russia, in Kursk, and we blessed it on top of the original Icon and ask you, Vladyka, to accept it. Here, I am sure, this icon will find a special setting. You can approach it constantly, in prayer and in search of consolation, knowing that the Mother of God remains our Protectress, and the Mother of God offers us Salvation in our lives.
I greet all our dear parishioners and pilgrims on this bright Sunday, and invite you to approach and venerate the icon, kissing it and congratulating each other. Such is the way of the Orthodox Christian when they congratulate each other on holidays. This is not a daily occurrence but a matter of the Church. We must sanctify and lead our lives towards the Church. The world around us is in turmoil, with sin and lawlessness, but in church, where our faith lies, where divine services are held, there we are saved and obtain spiritual bliss. The ultimate meaning of our lives lies in transforming our souls, our church life, and receive a good response from the Savior and the salvation of our souls.
May the Lord God help us pass this day so that our hearts, our minds, our lives sense that God is with us, as is the Most-Pure Mother of God, and all the Saints. May we, dear brothers and sisters, abide with od in our Orthodox Church. Amen.
10/23 April, 2023