NEWS AND EVENTS - Tuesday, April 11, 2017
The feast of the Entrance of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem - Palm Sunday was festively celebrated in the small church of St. Sava in Toronto. The Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, in the church filled with the people of God and the little children, was served by Bishop Mitrophan of Canada, with the concelebration of V. Rev. Stavrophor Milutin Veljko, Protonamesnik Milos Puric and Deacon Djuradj Kojic. The diocesan choir, Kir Stefan Srbin, sang the responses. The honor of reading the Epistle fell on Mihailo Bacanin while the festal irmos was sung by Dragana Stosic.
Just as the people gathered in Jerusalem to welcome the Lord Jesus Christ so too the faithful people of our parish came to welcome our new bishop to our church for the first time. Satisfaction was seen on their faces and great spiritual joy that they received such a spiritual father and leader. That which was pleasing to everyone was his humility and piety and the way he served the Liturgy, his beautiful chanting and wonderful preaching. The children also sensed the great joy of this encounter which could be seen after the service when they approached him to give the Deda Bishop a hug and kiss his hand.
After communion, during which nearly the entire church approached to partake of the Holy Mysteries, Bishop Mitrophan gave an inspiring homily saying:
-Raising Lazarus the four-day-dead from the tomb our Lord entered into Jerusalem, humbly, riding on a donkey, just as it was foretold by the Old Testament prophet Zachariah, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes unto you: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon a donkey, and upon a colt the foal of a donkey" (Zach. 9:9), and He was welcomed by many people and children who sang, "Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord (Matt. 21:9). He came serious, without laughter on His face, not like the politician's smile and the earthly rulers who in such a way wish to get support and love, because He is the very Lord and because He had no need for this for He knew the hearts of that nation and He knew that Golgotha was waithing for Him. He did not fear death and did not weep like people do but only wept for the sins of the people for whom He would be sacrificed once and for all", said Bishop Mitorphan.
"All of us, dear brothers and sisters, would go with the Lord Jesus Christ and be His witnesses of all the wonders He performed: we would gladly be His witnesses when He healed the blind man born from birth in the Pool of Bathesda, when He raised the son of the widow and when he raised Lazarus who was dead and four days in the tomb, when He performed all those things no one before Him nor after Him did, but let us ask ourselves, which one of us would go with Him to Golgotha? Which one of us would carry the Cross with the Lord and crucify themselves out of their love for the world? A small number of us, dear brothers and sisters. A small number. This is why we should make every effort to spend Holy Week, which began yesterday, in repentance and in podvig and in strict fasting, participating at the Holy Services so that next Sunday we might welcome the greatest and most radiant feast of the Lord's Pascha - the Resurrection of Christ. Amen."
At the very end of Liturgy Prota Milutin Veljko thanked the Bishop on behalf of the clergy and church board and all the faithful, for his love, his visit but also that he officiated at the liturgical gathering and offered the bloodless sacrifice to God for the salvation of our souls. Prota thanked the bishop saying that the bishop came earlier to the church but this was the first time he served the liturgy and because of that they were particularly excited and joyful, wishing that the Bishop would come many more times again for many years and that the Lord grant him health and long life.
Mnogaja ljeta was chanted after Prota's words. A meal was prepared for all those in attendance, with fish and wine just as the Tipik prescribes, thanks to our hard working sisters from the Kolo Sestara, the Myrrhbearing Women, led by Anka Kovac.
Fr. Milos Puric