The Patriarch of Romania Celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral on the First Day of the New Year

On 1 January, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Circumcision of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Saint Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea of Cappadochia, and the new civil year. His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral assisted by a group of priests and deacons in the presence of many faithful.

After reading the Evangelical pericope (Luke 2:20-21: 40:52), His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel delivered a sermon in which he emphasised the teaching rendered in the fragment: “The text of Luke we read today shows us that when 12 years old, Jesus went to the Temple together with the Mother of God and Righteous Joseph and on their way back, he remained at the Temple. They looked for Him for three days till they found Him, because they first thought that He had left together with other children to go back to Nazareth in Galilee. But He was not there, but in the Temple. So, the Gospel shows us that Jesus who was circumcised when 8 days old was growing, with the help of God’s grace, not only biologically, but also theologically. He was growing in wisdom, age and grace, namely in His relationship with God. This relation is very important because it shows us that rather often the spiritual growth is faster than the biological one”.

Then, the Patriarch of Romania showed the significance of the feast of the circumcision of the Lord: “The circumcision of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, on the eighth day of His life is a proof of lowliness first of all. As our religious service says on the eighth day of His life He was circumcised according to the Jewish tradition. He, the God-Man accomplished the Old Law and later on He would improve and complete this law. So, the circumcision is obedience and lowliness, the observance of the fatherly tradition. Once the circumcision done, the name was given too. The name Jesus received when eight days old was not chosen by His Parents, neighbours or relatives, but decided by God and conveyed by Archangel Gabriel on the Annunciation day. (...) His name had His work in it from the very beginning, namely to save the world through faith, the salvation in Jesus Christ, because in the Hebrew language Jesus means God saves or God is the Saviour”.

To end with the Divine Liturgy, the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church eulogized the personality of Saint Basil the Great: “Today we celebrate Saint Basil the Great who lived in the 4th century, born in 330 and passed away on 1 January 379. He lived only 50 years, but from 370, when he became bishop of Caesarea of Cappadochia, till 379, he worked a lot and made much effort. He taught the Gospel of Christ through words and deeds and remained in the conscience of the Church as one of her greatest saints. It is form him that we have the Liturgy that we celebrate today and tradition says he celebrated it four times a week”.

Source: Romanian Orthodox Church