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June 29, 2024

Homily Three for the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul (Archimandrite George Kapsanis)


 The Tradition of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul

By Archimandrite George Kapsanis

The great Apostle of the Gentiles, the apostle Paul, when he came here to our blessed homeland - three times he passed through here, and here in Macedonia, he walked and sanctified it - what did he preach? He preached Christ. What did he preach to the Thessalonians? Christ. What did he preach in Beroea? The God-man Christ. What did he preach to the Corinthians? Christ. What did he preach in our country, bit by bit? Christ, the God-man.
 
From the apostle Paul and from the apostle Peter we also received the faith of the God-man Christ. And this is the faith of the Church, this is the foundation of the Church, this is the tradition of the Church which the Church received, lives and delivers: the God-man Christ.

***

We also received this tradition here on Mount Athos. Because if we judge the spirit of Mount Athos, the life of Mount Athos, the worship of Mount Athos, the prayer of Mount Athos, the liturgy of Mount Athos, everything of Mount Athos, these are: Jesus Christ the center of our life, Jesus Christ the regulator of our life, Jesus Christ the purpose of our life, Jesus Christ the beginning of our life, Jesus Christ "who fills all in all" (Eph. 1:23).

And this is mainly shown by noetic and unceasing prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me the sinner." If we put on one side the epistles and preaching of the apostle Paul and the apostle Peter and on the other we put "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me the sinner" along with the whole Christ-centered life of Orthodoxy and the Holy Mountain, we will see that it is the same gospel, it is the same preaching, it is the same tradition, it is the same spirit.

Therefore, because we have the great blessing, not just to be disciples of the holy Apostles, but to live the same spirit of the holy Apostles, the same preaching of the holy Apostles, the same experience of the holy Apostles, the same grace of the holy Apostles, Peter and Paul and the Twelve, that is why today we have a secret and internal communion with them, and it is this communion that fills us with an inexpressible joy and spiritual exultation. Joy about which the Lord said, "no one will take from you" (John 16:22).

***

Therefore, my fathers and my brothers, glorified be the name of our Holy, Worshipful and Blessed Triune God, because we received from these holy and fiery Apostles of Christ this faith and this life, that of the God-man Christ.

Let us remain in it until the end, firm and immovable, guarding the inheritance, this treasure "in earthen vessels" (2 Cor. 4:7). And let us beseech the Saints and beseech them extensively today with pain of soul and fervent supplication, to bless this Holy Mountain, and each one of us, so that we may truly live Christ, as they lived Him.

But let them also watch over our people, who, to the shame of the Lord, because of the foreign movements of atheism and materialism, tends to forget the preaching of the Apostles, the God-man Christ, and to worship other gods and not the God of our Fathers, the God-man Christ.

May God grant to our people and to us to remain faithful to the God-man Christ, so that we may also have the blessing of these holy and great Apostles of our Christ.

Source: Sermons on Feasts of Saints (from the years 1981-1991) vol. 2. Published by Gregoriou Monastery, Mount Athos 2016, p. 214. Translation by John Sanidopoulos.
 

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