We warmly invite you to watch this enlightening sermon of Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra (✝2019) about the Christian mystery, as we fully experience it in the Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox Church.
The fact of entering the church is the greatest privilege a Christian can have.
We live here the grace of God. We live our salvation, the fruits of the work of salvation of our God, the High Priest!
Here in the church, we can interpret that word which the Apostle proclaims: Christ “entered once for all into the Holy of Holies by means of His own blood”. [Hebrews 9:12]
Thus securing redemption, He lives for us, prophesies and exalts His hands to the Heavenly Father.
What does this mean? Christ poured out His blood once. He entered the Holy of Holies once! And from that day on He never stopped remembering us before His saints, so they intercede for us before the Heavenly Father, and especially His Mother, Our Most Holy Virgin, for us, for our hearts, for our sins, for our pains, for the disappointments of our lives.
He went to Heaven once and forever. He didn’t fall from the throne he sat on, to the right of His Heavenly Father.
So, what does that mean?
It means when we go to church in order to attend the Divine Liturgy, this is not an ordinary practice, it is not something that “does not matter! I will come tomorrow and the day after tomorrow…” It is a unique act!
We go to the One whom we loved! To Him who gave His life for us! To Christ!
But where is Christ?
Here is Christ! Here also!
But, basically, the Second Person of the Trinity, our Christ is on the right of the Heavenly Father in the Holy of Holies.
Therefore, my dear, do not think that when we enter the church, we enter and leave, and then we enter again. No! We climb and enter the Holy of Holies, to the heavens.
When we open the curtain and Christ comes out, as the Holy Cup, we open the gate of Heaven… and we enter, the sinners.
As we enter the church, during the Divine Liturgy, we climb to the New Jerusalem from above.
Do you understand what a great thing this is? What our souls live… And we will sit at the right of the Father!
And we gain honor, from the honor of our Christ and from the Holy Body of our Lord and God.
Therefore, when we enter the church, we travel the distance from earth to heaven and we go beyond the stars.
We leave the angels behind us and we climb where the Holy Trinity is!
This means “mystery”!
We see bread and wine, but which of us doesn’t believe that this is Christ?
We see something else, we smell something else.
This is the wine. This is bread.
It is Christ!
The same mystery happens here too!
What do we see? That we stand before the icons, down, under the chandeliers, one next to each other.
That’s wrong! It is a mystery!
We are not “here”, we are up “there”!
And there we are all together.
Together with… the hosts of saints.
Together with the hosts of angels, the seraphims with six wings, who fly so fast in order to teach us to run to Christ, day and night!
Together with the cherubim, those with many eyes, who teach our eyes to discover Christ!
This is the mystery of our Church!