On Wednesday evening, December 3nd, Metropolitan Nektarios of Hong Kong and South East Asia delivered the second Homily on the Holy Eucharist.
He offered a detailed presentation on the development of the first part of the Divine Liturgy (the Liturgy of the Word) and he explained the symbolic practices and the theological meaning of the petitions and the prayers.
The Divine Liturgy is not merely a gathering of the faithful. It is the union of the faithful with each other. It is the union of those here on earth with those in heaven. Most of all, it is the union of the faith full with Christ.
In the Divine Liturgy, the faithful travel together through all of the stages of Christ’s life on earth. Together with the shepherds, they visit the manger of Bethlehem. Together with the simple people of Galilee, they observe the entry of Christ into public life. Together with the multitude which “was astonished at His teaching”, they listen to Christ’s Gospel, which is Wisdom. Together with a few select souls, they travel with Christ as He climbs up Golgotha to His passion and are “crucified with” Christ. Together with the Myrrh-bearing women, they experience the joy of the Resurrection. We participate in every stage of the life of Christ.
God’s gift in the Divine Liturgy is priceless. The gift of being able to attend is priceless. Even more priceless is the gift of being able to become a partaker of the Divine Supper, sharing the same body and blood with Christ.