Sunday hierarchal services
Today, on the third week after Pentecost, hierarchical services were held at the Trinity Cathedral of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery. Metropolitan Ferapont of Kostroma and Nerekhta presided at the paraklesis and the late-morning Divine Liturgy.
Archpriest Igor Borisov of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery, in his post-communion sermon, using examples from modern life, vividly revealed the meaning of today’s Gospel reading. “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6: 22-23) – we heard the words of the Savior at the Divine Liturgy. This rebuke was addressed to the Jews, who assumed that they were enlightened and chosen, worthy of resting on the bosom of Abraham. In fact, they were only the sticklers of the law who utterly lacked love. And today, Father Igor noted with regret, as we walk the Holy Kanavka, we too hear the idle talk, laughter, and telephone conversations.
“So, if the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness?” – Father Igor urged us to think about it. “Our spiritual labor should not be simply in theory,” emphasized the priest. – If we see that our eye is dark, we should beseech God to enlighten it.”
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Hegumenia Sergia, the abbess of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery, thanked Metropolitan Ferapont for his hierarchical prayers at today’s Sunday service and wished that God, through the prayers of the Most Holy Mother of God and all the saints of Diveyevo, as well as of the holy hieromartyr Methodius, the bishop of Patara, and the Blessed Prince Gleb of Vladimir, whose memory the Holy Church commemorates on this day, strengthens His Eminence as he carries out his archpastoral work. The icon of Venerable Seraphim of Sarov was presented to Metropolitan Ferapont for the remembrance in prayer.
The head of the Kostroma Metropolia expressed his gratitude to the ruling bishop and Hegumenia Sergia for the opportunity to worship in the Fourth lot of the Most Holy Mother of God. Vladyka Ferapont first visited Diveyevo thirty years ago, in 1992, while still a layman. Since then, he fell in love with the Diveyevo monastery and makes an effort to visit it often once an opportunity arises.
In his archpastoral address, His Eminence explained the spiritual significance of the Lord’s message to all of us that we heard at today’s liturgy: “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6: 25). It is impossible for us not to be concerned about food and drink at all, emphasized Vladyka Ferapont, but the Lord in the Gospel often wisely enforces His teaching to the extreme, like in this case. The Savior counters our care for the earthly and material with the concern for the otherworldly.
Metropolitan Ferapont has noted that many have everything necessary for living yet they strive to get richer, so that they wouldn’t need to work at all. This desire speaks of our spiritual imperfection. The Lord admonishes us: “You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24), since by devoting his life fully for the acquisition of the earthly wealth, man completely forgets about his Creator and does not care about the salvation of his soul. The Lord points to the correct path: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Mattew 6:33).
Metropolitan Ferapont urged everyone to be wise and careful, so that the thorny plant of mammon didn’t choke up the good seeds of faith in our hearts.