Church of Serbia – 18/5/21
On the feast day of Saint Athanasius the Great, 15 May 2021, His Holiness Porfirije, Serbian Patriarch, served the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in the church dedicated to this great saint in Belgrade’s suburb of Plavi Horizonti.
The Patriarch was concelebrated by Diocesan dean protopresbyter-staurophor Bozo Bakajlic, archpriest Milos Stojanovic and Vladan Simic, hieromonk Sava (Bundalo) and deacons Dragan Radic and Radomir Vrucinic.
-Saint Athanasius the Great is the saint who uttered the words: “God came into this world. God became man so that man might become a god.”, Patriarch Porfirije reminded at the beginning of his sermon, teaching about the dogmatic truth of Christ’s incarnation.
Having said that, he knew the Christian faith well. He knew the Orthodox faith well. He knew that God was uncreated, beginningless, that no one had ever seen God, that we could not know God with our minds. When Saint Athanasius said that man should become a god, he knew that this did not mean that man could become a god by nature, but that man by his way of life, if that way of life is evangelical if it is a life that strives to as much as possible apply the commandments of God in his life, so that then man becomes able to participate in the fullness, in all that God gives us. God gives his whole self to people. God is constantly with us, but unfortunately, we often, even when we are in church, are not aware of that fact. We do not feel, we do not recognize that God is with us. Moreover, if we do not have some problems, if we do not have temptations, then we forget God. And sometimes we go so far as to forget that we have forgotten Him, the Patriarch noticed.
Saint Athanasius the Great, from his earliest youth, subordinated his whole being to God, and thus he realized the gospel truth that the Holy Apostles reveal to us and which the Church preserves with its tradition to this day, and that is that God became man. God did not do it by chance, but to share with us everything that is ours. God became man in order to descend to the deepest point of our existence and to be there, from within, what is our greatest problem, what is our greatest torment, what is our greatest temptation, and that is death, to be there from within disarmed death. And with his resurrection he defeated that enemy of ours, with us and for us, in our name, having human nature in his person and thus enabling us, when we participate in His life and participate through the Church, to participate through the Liturgy of the Church, then we participate in victory over death. We participate, in fact, already here and now in eternal life. All this is given to us and we can know all that with the depth of our being, enlightened mind and pure heart, Patriarch Porfirije said.
Radio Slovo Ljubve