On Monday, January the 1st, 2018, his Eminence, the Bishop of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian Islands, Mr. Nektarios did the Divine Liturgy in the celebrating Church of Saint Basil in Corfu Town. Instead of preaching, the Bishop’s New Year’s Message was read which is written below:
My beloved fathers and brothers, my beloved children with Christ’s love,
Two great traditions are constantly making us choose the way we live during our lives. The first one is “according to the human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces” and the second one “according to Christ” (Colossians 2-8).
Human traditions are oriented to “here and now”. To our need to survive. To the fulfillment of our desires, which often deceive us, because they give us the impression that the pleasure coming from them, will last forever. The same happens with the institutional choices, like having a family educating ourselves.
When they are based on the element of now, they cannot answer the big questions that each one of us has; that is how will we be able to find the route and the way to true happiness.
We do not really reject every human tradition, every idea, every philosophy. But when we know that there is another way, the one of “living according to Christ”, then we move joyfully towards Him, after keeping what is not opposed to the life of Faith. Only through Christ’s presence, time takes the meaning of eternity. Because of Christ, we are freed from our sins, which separate us from God and fellow people.
Because of Christ, the demonic principles and powers are destroyed. Not only these powers make humans suffer but also they make them believe with pride to their own ego, their materialistic good, their knowledge, their abilities without realizing their limits. Because of Christ, we have the boldness to talk with God and fellow people in the language of love and truth, the language of hope that time is not our enemy, but the path to the Sky.
We can live the tradition “according to Christ” only in the Church! If we turn time to joy! If we see the other people as our brothers and sisters! If we see the difficulties of our lives as the beginning of resurrection! The pain of every failure is a lesson of trust in God, who knows better what is really good for each one of us. If we make virtue, target of our lives. If we see struggle and frugality not as a chance of irony, but as a way of excellence!
The worries of this world will remain apart in the liturgical life of our Church, in the glorification of God, in putting every hope to His love, which brought His Son for our life to be meaningful and complete!
We shall fight in this New Year with Christ for help. With the certainty that we are not alone! With being aware that we live in this world, but the world alone cannot save us! The path of the Church shall be the one which will make us endure!
Happy and blessed New Year, brothers and sisters! May God give Hi light to you and your loved ones!
With paternal greetings and love in Christ,
Bishop of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian Islands
By the end of the Divine Liturgy, his Eminence did a Glorification Prayer in the Metropolitan Church of Virgin Mary the Spilaiotissa for the new year, with the presence of the political and military forces of the island. Then, his Eminence went to the building of Regional Administration of Corfu, where he blessed and cut the New Year’s cake of the Administrative Region of Ionian Islands.