After reading the Gospel, the Abbot addressed the assembled people speaking as a true shepard, and spoke of the essence of the Gospel read. It warns us and speaks of the Last Judgment of God, but also reminds us of how we should respond in the Last Judgment of Christ since the Lord will judge us by our deeds, and above all – by how much we have, in the course of our lives, resembled the image of the Son of God, how much we have been embodied into the body of Christ.
That is why Father Sava emphasizes in all his speeches that all our lives should be a preparation, a constant reminding and a constant restoration of our consciousness, which is peered into the boundless love and grace of God by which we were created, called to life, by which we live and by which the Lord loves us all.
Father Sava devoted the first part of his address to the first and basic lesson of this gospel story, which is that we must show love for one another:
“The Lord teaches us in this Gospel that we must and should show love for one another, first and foremost, in order to be able to receive in this way the gift of the love of God. And the love of God, it is like the sun, it is shining and giving to all, but only the one who opens his heart for his neighbor can receive it. That is why the Lord is who we do deeds for, when we do deeds for our neighbor.”
Father Sava further recalls that the love of Christ is much more than an emotion, since the love of Christ that a person needs to live in is a whole new way of being:
“That is why we Christians become members of the Church and thus die to the old man and are born into a new one. Our whole life is precisely the fulfillment of this baptismal covenant, and through all our lives we are called to take off this old man and dress into the new one each and every day, enlightening ourselves with life and becoming holy to our Lord God.
He who receives divine love will show this and such love to his fellowmen. He will know to feed the hungry and to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe those bare and welcome strangers, to visit the sick, as well as those in the dungeons. In doing so, they will do for the Christ God themselves, recognizing Christ in their fellow men.”
In his further address, Abbot Sava also pointed out that basically, the Lord invites us to leave that selfish and individual way of existence in which there is no space for our neighbor:
“The Lord calls upon us to know and see the image of God in every man. Not only in friends, but also in enemies. Because, those who are enemies of God, they do not really know what they are doing, as the Lord said to those who crucified Him.
It is the Lord who visits us when we are sick – heals us because He is our doctor. He is the one who is with us in the most difficult of times, when we feel abandoned and humiliated. So He helps us, and we help Him – by helping others. That is how we live as one organism, as one Church of God.”
Abbot Sava eventually, in a picturesque way, made a parallel between the congregation and the Church – as the body of Christ and the organs and the human body that functions flawlessly when the organs serve in communion with one another, while, as Father Sava emphasizes, disease and dysfunction arise when one of the organs stops functioning properly:
“So blessed is the Lord, that we all live as one flesh. And we know that no organ can live on its own in a body. Each serves the other. When the order is normal, then the body is healthy. In contrast, the disease occurs when one of the organs does not function properly, when a disorder occurs, then the entire body becomes ill.
This moment in which we live reminds us that only with Christ, in Christ and through Christ, do we have true existence and that only through Him do we have true love with our neighbors and that by living together as one body of the Lord, as one bread, we ascend to our Heavenly Father and to Christ the Lord”, concluded Archimandrite Sava Janjic.
After the served Liturgy, Archpriest Mircea Sljivancanin announced that the renowned Archimandrite Sava Janjic, the Abbot of the Visoki Decani Monastery, together with the Theologians of Prizren and Archimandrite Timothy, the Abbot of the Ascension Diocese of Zice Diocese, will lead tonight’s lithium in Podgorica.