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His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP, His Eminence, Metropolitan PAUL and His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH Celebrate at St. Nicholas Cathedral - 07/19/2009

Los Angeles, California

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A day before the start of the 49th Convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP made a special visit to St. Nicholas Cathedral in Los Angeles, where he concelebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with His Eminence, Metropolitan PAUL of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines and His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH.

Sayidna PHILIP had once called the Cathedral his “second home,” and he returned for the first time since 2004, when he presided over the historic enthronement of Sayidna JOSEPH. Sunday’s Divine Liturgy was videotaped by the Lebanese Christian satellite channel NourSat, which will also record and air highlights of the Archdiocese Convention from Palm Desert, California.

On this day, the Orthodox Church celebrated the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, convened in Chalcedon in 451 A.D. to settle all Christological debates, reaffirming that the Savior Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man. Sayidna PHILIP focused on this, and the important role saints play in our lives, during his homily. “These Holy Fathers beautifully defined our Faith, even though they were attacked by many heretics. They are attacked even today,” His Eminence said. He continued, referring to the Gospel lection of the day (Matthew 5:14-19). “These saints are indeed the light of the world. Their light shined before men, and they saw their good works.”

Sayidna PHILIP then moved to the Convention theme from the Divine Liturgy Anaphoras of Ss. John Chrysostom and Basil the Great: Be mindful, O Lord, of those who bear fruit and do good works in Thy holy churches, and who remember the poor. “In Matthew 25, we notice the complete identification of Christ with human nature,” Sayidna said. “Our Lord said: ‘I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in.’ Christ hungered, thirsted and was a stranger, sharing in our infirmities and struggles. We have one billion people in the world who live below the poverty line. We have to live according St. John and St. Basil and remember the poor to help them.”

After the Divine Liturgy, the hierarchs greeted old friends and departed the Cathedral, making the final preparations for the drive to Palm Desert on Monday. There, they are expected to be joined by nearly 2,000 clergy and laity from across the Archdiocese.

By: Subdeacon Peter Samore
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