Sunday, January 29, 2023
There are moments that emerge as unique and unrepeatable events, moments in which the very presence of God is revealed to us. And then time stops, to make us think more deeply about what God’s providence is working for us. Such a great moment happens every time we celebrate the Divine Liturgy.
Your Eminences, Your Graces, beloved brothers in the Holy Spirit and co-celebrants, and dear pious assembly of the fullness of the Church,
Today in this holy church we met to honor the memory of a Saint who spent his whole life conveying the message of the good shepherd, the message of God’s sacrificial love for man and the love that people should have between them. And this Saint, whose name this magnificent Church honors, Saint Sava, was naturally called “enlightener” by the Church.
But where did this bishop find his inspiration? Today’s Gospel reading helps us to understand that. Sava recognized the God-man as the door to life, through Whom we go in and out and find pasture (see Jn 10:9). I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. This great entrance was given to St. Sava in a unique way so that he also became the true shepherd. As his troparion laconically says, for his people he was a teacher of the Path that leads to Life. And how did he recognize this path? My brethren, to know the “good shepherd” presupposes a “call by name”. “He calls his own sheep by name … and the sheep listen to his voice”. And this “calling by name” was a transcendent lightning flash that illumined the unknown depths and breadths of Sava’s existence.