The Fourth Part of the Akathist Hymn and Small Compline in the Holy Metropolis of Corfu
On Friday, March 16, 2018 his Eminence, the Bishop of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian Islands, Mr. Nektarios did the fourth part of the Akathist Hymn and Small Compline in the Church of Saint John of Town.
In his preaching, the Bishop of Corfu commented on the following verse: “Rejoice, water washing consciences clean; Rejoice, cup that mixes great joy.” He noted that our Virgin Mary freely accepted to cooperate for the plan of the Divine Will, for the salvation of the whole human race, that is the incarnation of the Son and Word of God, which eventually intersected the history of humankind, dividing it into pre- Christ and after- Christ period.
The centuries before our Lord’s coming to the earth, people experiencing the results of the exodus from Paradise and the stopping of communication with God, had an unclean conscience, which led them to do evil actions, such as replacing the worship of the true God, with the adoration of idols, moral degradation and so on.
Our lady, then, as the mother of God becomes the water which washes consciences clean, experiencing and understanding God as He is. This consciousness, the mind in other words of the soul, our Faith’s Saints had and still have. The difference between us and the Saints lies in the fact that the latter realized their sins, they repented, and then, with the illumination of the Holy Spirit, they experienced in their hearts, all the ubiquitous events that happened to save humans.
In addition, his Eminence emphasized that Theotokos is also the cup that mixes great joy, which is nothing but the Divine Communion, the union with Christ. Humans can feel real joy when they receive the Body and Blood of the Lord. Our world today knows very well that all those who professed the great joy, whether political ideologies or philosophical trends, or other various Eastern religions, eventually deceived it, giving it only existential deadlocks and despair. Hope and pride of humankind is Jesus Christ, the Crucified and Resurrected from the dead.
In his conclusion, his Eminence urged the faithful to be led to repentance, which is not a temporary human act, when humans decide to walk with God, but an everlasting struggle, to the grave, because the present life is a stage, with tears and pain with which they are cleaned and then illuminated by the Holy Spirit, becoming eventually God by grace.