15 February 2024
Today, the Holy Orthodox Church celebrates one of the main feasts — the Meeting of the Lord.
On the 40th day after the Nativity of Christ, the Most Holy Theotokos, as was required by the Law of Moses, humbly brought the Divine Christ Child to the Jerusalem Temple. Here, on its steps, a meeting of the Old and New Testaments happened. The High Priest and Prophet Zachariah, the righteous Elder Simeon, and Saint Anna the Prophetess, who had been waiting for a meeting with the Saviour of mankind, recognised Him by the Holy Spirit. The ancient prophecy fulfilled. The Virgin gave birth to a Son, God became man and came to us so as to save us from the slavery of sin and death.
The acceptable time has come, when the doors to the Father’s house, to Heaven, are once again open to people, and through them everybody who wants to can enter the Kingdom of Heaven, the infinite joyful being with the Creator and His saints.
This Meeting took place more than two thousand years ago. And every year on this day, we remember this event again and again, relive it, and become its participants.
Where and how can we meet Christ in our lives?
We once met Him in our Holy Mother Ukrainian Orthodox Church. We were baptised in her and began to grow and strengthen ourselves spiritually in her while remaining grateful and faithful to her.
We meet Christ in the eternal words of the Gospel, in sincere heartfelt prayer, in the Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, in the sacrament of Confession…
We meet God in a family where love and mutual respect reign. We can meet Him amongst people, when, amongst hundreds of faces, we suddenly clearly see the eyes of our neighbour — as our brother, created, like us, in the image and according to the likeness of the Creator.
We meet God where there are people in need, where there is pain and suffering, where there is need for mercy, consolation, mere human warmth, a kind word, and, much more importantly, a good deed. This is how God becomes all and in all. This is how He is present and acts in this world, healing and changing this world for the better.
On this festive day, I want to wish all of us, dear brothers and sisters, to seek and meet Christ without ceasing, accept Him into our hearts, love Him with all our souls, and confess Him with our deeds. May the Saviour enter our lives and change them and us ourselves. May we be open for His healing and life-giving grace. May we become purer and kinder every day, and may everything around us become better together with us.
I wholeheartedly greet you on the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord!
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