Ierapostole: The Real Purpose of the Entire Church

Just a few days after the Sunday of Pentecost, which marks the birthday of our Church, the our thoughts run to the first days of the Church of Christ on planet Earth.

Simple, unlettered people, without education or diplomas, with their only references being the “graduation ceremony” of the Holy Spirit, in regards to who Christ is really and what exactly was his task here on earth, the spread out over the entire known civilized world so that they could communicate the great truth that God became man and that he waits for man to become god by grace.

This is what made them “university” graduates, not only did they comprehend the truth but they had the experiential knowledge of the Life. It was this experience that they wanted to share with everyone, creating the conditions for its successful propogation, in other words, creating the Church! They laid the foundations so that this great faith can remain in the hearts of man to the end of the ages.

They created the Church which has as its goal the sanctification of every person to every corner of the earth, and to every age and generation, offering to each person the real experience of the Holy Spirit.

The responsibility, therefore, of the Evangelization of the world and of all people for all time, is the responsibility of the entire Church through the work of Ierapostole (Sacred Mission).

The charisms of God’s grace are shared out with the individual members; however, the Church as a whole contains them all and the work of the Church is being realized through contribution of Her each individual member.

All Christians are entitled of that joy that is felt in Heaven when one person comes to know God, when one person acquires a life of Sanctity, Holiness.

The joy of Holiness is the product of the offering of ourselves, through the offering of time, talents, resources, caring concern, and prayer. Going beyond oneself!

The greatest enemy of the Evangelization of the nations, is the resistance of the “chosen”, those who, in other words, nearsightedly think that their personal perfection is enough for them, those who don’t understand that we aren’t “enough” until we have included our neighbour, and each neighbour, that very “neighbour” whom Christ has determined is the key to our entrance into Paradise!

This concept, the real meaning of the “other”, of our neighbour, is the key to the life in Christ.

If we miss this, we may have beautiful churches, beautiful ecclesiastical arts, wonderful organization, able administration, a well-tended and attractive grounds, everything just right, but Christ isn’t alive in us. Not without the understanding of the other, the neighbour, and paradise remains hermetically sealed.

Our age has divinized man, but mainly made god our own self.

The Church without Evangelism is a church without purpose. And Church without purpose is a lie, a falsehood, it’s a mere human institution, without the Holy Spirit and without God.

The Church shows us how to fix this. It invites us to transcend our self, to find the “other”. When we love our neighbour as our own self, we receive God.

His Eminence Metropolitan Myron of New Zealand and Exarch of Oceania

Hello Orthodox! Film 

Learn more about the Orthodox Apostolic Ministry in Oceania

Film with Greek, Romanian and Serbian subtitles.

One thought on “Ierapostole: The Real Purpose of the Entire Church

  1. Your Eminence, Thank you for your inspiring, and timely message! We will be introducing the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry to our parish in a couple of weeks, and we’re searching for a way to begin our message. When yours came, one of the pictures seemed to be of Presbytera Maria (Fr. Barnabas’ wife in Fiji) and Fr. Alexios, Fr. Barnabas’s replacement. Perhaps I’m mistaken about the pictures, but your message is the answer to our prayer for direction, and the pictures remind me of Fr. Barnabas and Pres. Maria’s inclusion of so many in their parish—including the poor families he asked us to especially pray for.

    I would like to borrow your quote, “the real meaning of the “other, of our neighbor” as we remind our parish of your Ministry that we’re learning about, and the ministry that they may be hesitant about. One of my favorite stories is of the prisoner who rejected all messages from a visiting priest for years, but then had such a change of heart that he wrote a beautiful icon of Christ, using the only face he saw—his own—and crayons to draw it.

    Thank you for including us on your newsletter list, and please know that we continue to pray for you all.

    Sincerely, in Christ, Sally Buxton St. George Cathedral, Wichita, Kansas


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