Sunday March 17th, 2019
St Seraphim Cathedral, Santa Rosa, CA
The parishioners of St. Seraphim Cathedral in Santa Rosa, California received an extra measure of grace on the Sunday of Orthodoxy when His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, visited and celebrated Divine Liturgy with them. They counted it a triple blessing because their Diocesan hierarch, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco, and Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa, were also present at the Divine Liturgy.
His Beatitude gave the homily that morning, revealing the connections between the Gospel account of Christ penetrating the depths of Nathaniel’s heart as he saw him under the fig tree, and the restoration the veneration of the holy icons: “All this seeing and beholding is not the external capturing of phenomena, but the entering into the reality of the kingdom.” He reminded us that the holy icons are one of the gifts of the Church that “reveal the great mysteries of our Orthodox faith, and which compel us to proclaim today, ‘This is the faith of the Fathers, this is the Orthodox faith, this is the faith that has established the universe.’”
A festive Lenten lunch was served in the parish hall as the Agape meal after Liturgy. Many of the faithful had worked hard to set tables, to decorate them with flowers, and to prepare simple food with love for those gathered, so that it would express their joy at having their beloved Fathers in Christ with them. The result gave the feeling of a feast, though it was only the first Sunday of Lent.
-Archpriest Lawrence Margitich