On July 29, on the 8th Sunday after Pentecost we gathered for the Divine Liturgy at St. George Church. Service was celebrated by our Rector, priest Igor Tarasov. On that Sunday we also honored the Holy Fathers of the Six Ecumenical Councils.
Following the readings of the Gospel Fr. Igor preached a homily. He pointed out that the lesson from the Gospel of Matthew for that day has a number of aspects:
“First of all, we should note that this was an enormous crowd of five thousand men plus women and children. We notice how they followed Christ on foot in the heat of the day into the wilderness and without food. What faith and devotion we see here, when there are Orthodox who claim to be unable to come to church on Sundays in their cars, because the church is too far from their beds!”
“Secondly, we can see that this miracle took place not for the personal vanity or glory of the Savior, but out of pity for the people. Each miracle of Christ is an act of love performed out of compassion.”
“Thirdly, we see also how before He performed the miracle, Our Lord took up the five loaves and fishes, and then looked up to heaven and thanked the Father and blessed the food. Here He sets us Orthodox the example of praying before eating. How many Orthodox often forget even to make the sign of the cross before eating! And yet the Savior Himself, ‘by Whom all things were made’, asks for the blessing of the Father before eating.”
Fr. Igor also said that in this miracle we see how Christ not only feeds us with material food, but also with spiritual food, for, as it is written in the Holy Scriptures, man shall not live by bread alone. Holy Fathers of the Six Councils whom we commemorate today were given us and confirming spiritual nourishment of the true faith leading to eternal life. The second Gospel lesson of today says: “And this is eternal life that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom You have sent” (Jn. 17, 3). To live eternally we need spiritual nourishment which the Church is giving us.
At the end of the Liturgy Fr. Igor congratulated our Warden and Choir director Olga Roussanow on the occasion of her past name day and led us in singing “Mnogaya leta!”
After the service parishioners and priest enjoyed our delicious refreshments.