The Feast of the Synaxis of the Holy Apostles at the Patriarchate of Jerusalem (VIDEO & PHOTOS)

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On Wednesday, July 13, 2022, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem celebrated the feast of the Synaxis of the Holy Twelve Glorious Apostles at the Holy Church dedicated to them on the western shore of the Sea of ​​Tiberias, in the center of the city of Tiberias.

On this feast, the Church meets, that is to say, she keeps the “synaxis” of her faithful to honor the twelve Apostles to whom the Lord sent his Holy Spirit, and through whom he “retained the whole world in their net.

For this feast, Vespers took place on Tuesday afternoon and the Wednesday morning Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Patriarch Theophilus of Jerusalem, accompanied by Metropolitan Kyriakos of Nazareth, Archbishop Aristarchus of Constantine, the Hagiotaphite Hieromonks, among which the Archimandrite Parthénios and the priests of the Metropolis. of Nazareth. The chant was spoken by the Hegumen of Acre, Archimandrite Philotheos in Greek and Arabic, as the service was attended by Arabic-speaking and Russian worshipers.

The patriarch delivered the following sermon:

“O Disciples of the Saviour, you have saved the world; for you have traveled everywhere and enlightened the peoples, and by your teachings you have burned the illusion of idols like kindling, and you have led the Gentiles from the depths of ignorance into divine knowledge. And now, intercede with Christ, so that he may have mercy on us on the day of judgment” (Matines, Praises, Glory), proclaims the hymnographer of the Church Côme le Moine.

Beloved Brethren in Christ,

Christian nobles and pilgrims

The grace of the twelve glorious and glorious Apostles has brought us all together in the Monastery dedicated to them, by the sea, namely at the Sea of ​​Tiberias, where Jesus revealed himself to His Disciples after His resurrection (ref. John 21:1-13), to celebrate their Synaxis.

The holy day of the Twelve Apostles is an extension of the commemoration of the Chief Apostles Peter and Paul, which we celebrated yesterday in the seaside town of Capernaum.

Referring to the choice of the twelve apostles, the evangelist Luke says: “And it came to pass in those days that he went out into a mountain to pray, and spent the whole night praying to God. And the day being come, he called his disciples; and of them he chose twelve, whom he also called apostles” (Luke 6:12-13).

Interpreting these words from the Gospel, Saint Cyril of Alexandria says: “After spending the night in prayer, Our Lord conversed with the Father and God in heaven in an unspeakable and incomprehensible way. [to us] manner and gave himself as a type of salvation, he taught them the correct and pure way of prayer and made them mystics of the universe”.

Indeed, the Holy Apostles have become mystics, that is to say teachers, and preachers of the mystery of Divine Providence as testified by the evangelist Matthew. “And Jesus came near and spoke to them, saying, All power has been given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you always. , even until the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20).

The disciples of Christ did nothing by themselves, namely with their own mind, but everything that He gave them as commandments. Therefore, Athanasios the Great says, “Jesus did not merely tell them to baptize, but He said that they must first teach…so that faith becomes correct from knowledge and after faith, the completion should come with baptism”. And according to Saint Chrysostom, “He commanded to study the doctrines and to teach the commandments”.

It is worth noting on this subject the interpretation of Saint Gregory of Nyssa: “dividing the way of life of Christians between the moral part and the precision of the doctrines, he assures the redemptive doctrine by baptism, while he orders to manage our lives by keeping the commandments.

In other words, the preaching of the Apostles is distinguished in two things concerning the Christian way of life. On the one hand, the knowledge of the right faith, that is to say the precision of doctrines by baptism. On the other hand, to the application and observance of the commandments of the Gospel of Christ.

Here, then, is why Saint Paul advises: “Therefore, brethren, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions which have been taught to you, either by word or by our epistle” (2 Thess 2:15). And to his disciple he said, “O Timothy, keep what is entrusted to your trust, avoiding profane and vain gossip, and the oppositions of falsely pretended science” (1 Timothy 6:20).

The tradition of the Church and of the Holy Apostles, dear ones, is the source of the doctrines of our faith and of the ecclesiastical preaching of spiritual and moral teaching, in addition to the Holy Bible, as Saint Maximus the Confessor says; “we have assured by teaching in writing the doctrines and preaching of the Church, while we have accepted what has been passed down in secret by the tradition of the Apostles, and both have the same power towards the mystery of the Divine Providence”.

The divine contribution and work of the Holy Apostles is due to the power that Jesus gave them on the one hand (ref. Mat. 10:1-8), and on the other hand, to the union of Gentiles and Jews in the one Church of Christ. And this, because the Apostles and the prophets, being vessels of the Holy Spirit, have become the foundation of the sacred history revealed in the world and redeeming, as the Apostle Paul very clearly says: “But now, in Christ Jesus, you who were at times distant are made near by the blood of Christ… Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and strangers, but fellow citizens of the saints and of the household of God; And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief chief cornerstone” (Eph. 2:13-20).

The whole institution of the Church is built on the foundation of the Apostles, as set forth in our Creed, and according to which the Holy Church of Christ is called “apostolic”. The unity of the different local fraternal Orthodox Churches is based on the apostolic character of the Church. And this because, as the psalmist says, through the apostles, “The Lord has made his salvation known; he has revealed his righteousness openly in the eyes of the Gentiles” (Psalm 98:2).

We, who celebrate the Holy Apostles, together with the Mother of God and our Savior Jesus Christ, beg them to pray to the Son and God for the peace of the world, the salvation of our souls and the unity of the One, Holy Church , Catholic and Apostolic. Amen. Many happy comebacks!”

The Divine Liturgy was followed by a reception and a meal by the good Head of the Monastery, the hegumen Archimandrite Parthenios.

Source: Patriarchate of Jerusalem

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