Clergy Meeting in the Holy Metropolis of Corfu
On Friday morning, March 16, 2018 a clergy meeting was held in the Amphitheatre of the Chronically Suffering People’s Foundation “The Platytera” with main speaker, Mr. Dimitrios Mavropoulos, theologian- author, responsible of DOMOS Publications and publisher of the Papers of Alexandros Papadiamantis, on the topic of John’s Gospel.
In his speech, his Eminence, the Bishop of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian Islands, Mr. Nektarios welcomed Mr. Mavropoulos and then, mentioned to the priests the need of constant alertness that they should have, as the times we go through as Greeks are particularly difficult, with the declarations of wars that we hear, as well as the daily threats coming from the eastern neighbours, Skopje and the Albanian State, which once again raises the so-called “Tsamika Issue”, with specific territorial claims in Epirus. God allows all this to help us rise from the spiritual lethargy that we have come down to and return to Him.
His Eminence also invited the priests of the local Church to be united in order to “shield” our people with the weapons of Light, that is repentance, the frequent participation in the Divine Communion and in general in the life of our Church.
Furthermore, the Bishop of Corfu referred to the importance and theological depth of John’s Gospel, in which we see the work of the Incarnated economy of the Son and the Word of God, as well as the call to each one of us to follow the “Son of Human” and climb with Him to the Upper Jerusalem, the Kindgom of Heaven.
Finally, his Eminence invited the priests these days to intensify their spiritual struggle, to celebrate with pure heart the most important feast day, the Resurrection of the Saviour Christ.
Thereafter, Mr. Mavropoulos started talking, who thanked his Eminence and emphasized that John’s Gospel was writtern after 100 AD, in Ephesus and is an initiatory guide to the mystical life of our Church. The baptized Christian discovers the way in this Gospel, in which he/she will encounter Christ that is he/she will be saved. And what does Salvation mean? Salvation is neither merit after death nor the strict adherence to moral rules. Salvation is the ontological engangement with the Uncreated Triune God. Humans become gods by grace, by repenting and receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.
In addition, Mr. Mavropoulos highlighted seven points:
- Humans are saved by the incarnation of the Son and Word of God, with the union of the uncreated and the created, so that we, the created, to carry Christ in our lives.
- The only possibility to feel this divine energy is a new birth, the one offered by baptism in the water and Spirit, the entrance to the Church.
- The meeting with God is palpable in God’s place with the relationship with Christ, a treaty which takes place in every divine service.
- The connection of Christ as the Son of God and son of humans with us, accomplished with divine communion.
- To get to this society we need to overcome the dependent love to the selfless, not to stay in the relation of blood but to experience the one of the Spirit, to become God’s children and siblings among us.
- The success of divine intervention is assured by the testimony of the Resurrection with the appearances of the risen Christ in front of His students and the joy and peace that He gave them.
- The Gospel of John is a testimony of our salvation, it records its signs and invites us to see the Church as a thankful Community, in order to find our love for God and theosis as the purpose of our lives.
It should be noted that before the clergy meeting, his Eminence did the pre-sanctified Divine Liturgy in the Church of Holy Trinity of the Foundation. There was also the Memorial Service for the late Bishop of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian Islands, Timothy for his soul’s rest, after completing 16 years since his departure to Christ.
Mr. Nektarios referred to his multifaceted personality of his late predecessor, who, as a buring candle, served his flock. But late Timothy was fought and betrayed a lot. His enormous work and his love for the local Church constitute the answer to all those who questioned him. Today, we pray to our most holy God to rest his soul and classify him with His Saints.