On 16 March 2014, Sunday of Saint Gregory Palama, the second of the Lent, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral of Bucharest, assisted by a group of priests and deacons.
After reading the Evangelical pericope, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel delivered a sermon in which he emphasised the spiritual teaching of the Gospel of the day which shows us the healing power of Jesus Christ, our Saviour: “First of all, man should find the healing of his soul suffering from sins, and then the healing of his body’s diseases. Secondly, we see that Christ, our Lord, gives the sick man – brought to Him by other people – both the forgiveness of his sins and the grace of adoption telling him: My son, your sins are forgiven. Thirdly, we see Christ, our Lord, healing this man who had been suffering for a long time and also taking account of the faith of those around him, especially that of those who brought the sick man to Him. The Gospel tells us about him: Seeing how much faith they had Jesus said to the paralysed man: ‘My son, your sins are forgiven. Thus, these three great teachings of Jesus Christ, our Lord, are guidance for understanding the Gospel of the day and for our Christian life too”.
His Beatitude Daniel showed the urge of the Evangelical pericope to charity: “The Gospel of the merciful love of Jesus Christ, our Lord, urges and teaches us that besides prayer, fasting, repentance and confession, we must also do good deeds, in order to help the sick and all those who need our help. In fact, the four people who help the paralysed man in the Gospel of the second Sunday of the Lent symbolise now all the physicians, medical assistants, priests of charity, the parents, brothers, friends, neighbours or colleagues who help the sick”.
The second Sunday of the Lent is called the Sunday of Saint Gregory Palama. Then, the Patriarch of Romania spoke about the personality of Saint Gregory Palama, calling him the theologian of the uncreated and never setting light in the Kingdom of God: “Saint Gregory Palama is one of the greatest theologians of the Orthodox Church. He lived at the end of the 13th century and first part of the 14th (196 – 1359). He passed away in 1359, the year when the Metropolitanate of Wallachia was set up. Saint Gregory Palama lived as monk at Mount Athos, in the region where Prodromu Romanian skete is today. Later on, in 1347, he became Archbishop of Thessaloniki. He is the theologian of the uncreated and never setting light in the Kingdom of God, teaching that, if God wills, the saints can foretaste and spiritually see this light or glory ever since their earthly life. This light was shown to Saints Peter, Jacob and John the Apostles at the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, our Lord. The Church scheduled the second Sunday of the Lent to remember Saint Gregory Palama, and to show us that the right faith, solemnly observed on the Orthodoxy Sunday, is the faith by which we get the never setting light and eternal life in the Kingdom of God”.
This Sunday, the answers at the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral were given by “Accoustic” choir of “Saint Nicholas – Of One Day” church.
Next Sunday, the Orthodox Church will be on the 3rd Sunday of the Lent, also called the Sunday of the Holy Cross.