The purpose of human earthly life is the preparation for heavenly life, Patriarch Daniel said Sunday in his homily delivered during the Divine Liturgy celebrated at the Romanian Saints Hall of the Patriarchal Residence.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel reflected on the Bible readings, explaining that the Kingdom of Heaven is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). That is why we ought to change our lives, by opening ourselves to God’s love and by helping our neighbours, and not by living a selfish, exclusively biological live.
The Gospel calls us to change, the patriarch said, because the Kingdom of Heaven means to remodel the way we think, we live and act. His Beatitude pointed to the fact that Christ the Lord combined the preaching of repentance with miraculous, healing and delivering acts. Thus, the patriarch noted, Jesus Christ was strengthening His words by performing merciful deeds.
Christ teaches us to add charity deeds to the preaching of the Gospel, he said adding that since the first centuries the Church has been taking care of the sick, the poor, of travelers, and of every soul in need of help.
The patriarch noted that especially the Saints fulfilled the apostolic ministry of preaching Christ’s Gospel in word and deed. Referring to the Saints, His Beatitude said that they carry Christ within them through prayer, and make Him manifest to the world through good deeds.
In his homily, the Patriarch referred to the Synaxis of all Romanian Saints commemorated by the Romanian faithful on the second Sunday after Pentecost.
Today we commemorate the Synaxis of all Romanian Saints known and unknown, Patriarch Daniel said, both those who were canonized and included in our calendar and those who have not been canonized yet by the Church. He went on to say that some of them are known only by God, who will make them manifest when and how He desires. At Christ’s second coming, he said, Saints will shine like the stars and that the holiness of their souls will be made manifest through their risen and glorified bodies.
The Patriarch reflected on the Christianization of the Romanian people that was based on the preaching of Saint Andrew the Apostle and his disciples in the Southeast region of Romania (in today’s Dobrudja).
Because it was not a formal, ordered Christianization, but from human to human, developed at the same time with the formation of our nation from Dacians and Romans, the patriarch said, Christianity has deep roots in the soul of the Romanian people.
The Romanian nation, he said, has not lost its faith despite many trials. History shows us that it resisted during the invasions of the migratory peoples, during many later proselytizing pressures of other heterodox Christian confessions, and during the atheistic ideological pressure under the communist regime.
His Beatitude ended his speech saying that the Romanian Saints are intercessors for the Romanian people before the throne of the Holy Trinity who pray for the preservation of the Orthodox faith, for its conveyance to younger generations, for the cultivation of the holiness of life and of the deeds of merciful love.
Prior to the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, the Patriarch of Romania blessed 200 antimensia to be used in several chapels.
Through the decision of the Holy Synod, the Romanian Orthodox Church ordained in 1992 that the Synaxis of All Romanian Saints be honoured on the Second Sunday after Pentecost.