Patriarch Porfirije served in the church of Saint Alexander Nevsky

Published On: 28/01/2024

His Holiness Serbian Patriarch kyr Porfirije presided over the Divine Liturgy on 28 January 2024, at the church of Saint Alexander Nevsky in Belgrade.

On that occasion, His Holiness addressed the clergy and the gathered faithful people of God, instructing them that the word of the Gospel is the word of God, and the word of God is the rule of life, the way of correct existence for each of us. – The story we heard today is not just an instructive, interesting, and romantic tale, but it reveals to each of us what truth, way, and life (cf. John 14:6) truly are – His Holiness explained speaking about today’s Gospel chapter. The Patriarch emphasized that undoubtedly that there is no person who does not desire peace, joy, beauty, and love, and concluded that we determine the way of our existence, that is, the status of eternity, here and now. – We choose freely by our will whether we want the Kingdom of God, whether we truly want the King of the Kingdom of God, whether we want God, i.e., Christ, or not – His Holiness explained, and then taught that even when we fall and have setbacks, and there is a need and desire within us, God always brings us back to the line of our determination, i.e., to the path that leads us to the Kingdom of Heaven.

His Holiness taught that it is necessary first to have Christ as the criterion, as the measure, the mirror because we cannot know if we are on the true, right path, the path of salvation and fullness if we do not have a measure, and our measure is Christ and His word recorded in the Gospel. Then the question arises, how can we acquire what we all long for? The Lord clearly, loudly, and simply says to us: by keeping the commandments He gave us. God’s commandments reveal to us what is natural for us humans, what is in accordance with our normal, correct, natural life because when we live naturally, then the consequences of such a way of life are appropriate. The results of such a way of life are normal and natural, and it is normal for us to be joyful, the Patriarch concluded.

– We are allowed to do anything, but we cannot and must not allow anything to dominate us, to enslave us. As soon as we are enslaved by anything other than Christ, we will feel somehow deprived, and the measure of deprivation will depend on how much we will enslave ourselves to anything other than Christ – Patriarch Porfirije emphasized, and then offered the interpretation of the Gospel story in which a young man asks: “What must I do to inherit eternal life, to be perfect?” to the love and attention of the gathered people. And the Lord answers: “Sell everything you have and give to the poor. Take up your cross and follow me.” And the story ends with us seeing that this young man became sad and left because he was rich and found it difficult to give up his wealth. Of course, everyone will think, or many will think, that if you are rich, you have no salvation and that you must be poor to be pleasing and rich. Of course, the Gospel, i.e., the word of God, does not tell us that, but exactly what the Apostle Paul said: Everything is permissible, including being wealthy and being rich, but you must not allow it to dominate you,” the Patriarch emphasized and further clarified. He clarified: – Your wealth, your beauty, your glory, or, if you wish, your spirituality, your fasting, your prayer must not be more important to you than Christ. Everything we have is from Him.

– It is important that everything you have, whether material or spiritual, is understood as a gift from God and that it does not cause you to be conceited, to think that you are more important and better than others because humility, which precisely implies awareness that God has given us everything, is the criterion and measure of everything we think, say, and do – the Patriarch clarified. His Holiness concluded his sermon by calling on all people to let the Lord be first, always and everywhere, and to put Christ in the first place, renewing their lives by the grace of the Holy Spirit, imitating Saint Father Sava, the first Archbishop of Serbia who was celebrated the day before. He reminded that Saint Sava left everything, knowing the ultimate importance of Christ the Lord.


You can read Patriarch Porfirije’s entire sermon HERE.