Home page News
Metropolitan Hilarion: Our love of God is&nbs…

Metropolitan Hilarion: Our love of God is tested beyond the church walls


On July 29, the commemoration way of the Holy Fathers of the Six Ecumenical Councils, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the church of Our Lady the Joy to All the Afflicted in Moscow.


After the liturgy, Metropolitan Hilarion delivered the following homily:


‘In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!


‘In today’s Reading of the Gospel, we heard the story of how our Lord Jesus Christ, at the request of His disciple, fed up a multitude of people with bread and fish. The Gospel speaks of five thousand men who were fed by the Lord, not counting women and children. So, we do not know the exact number of people. The Lord fed them with five thousand loaves and two fishes.


‘This miracle of the multiplication of loaves in a desert reminds us that the Lord is the Giver of every blessing, the Giver of both material and spiritual food. It is not accidental that every time before eating we ask the Lord to bless our meal and after the meal we thank Him for satisfying us with His earthly gifts and ask that He may not deprive us of His Heavenly Kingdom.


‘Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Giver of all blessings and it is He Who gives us food, even if we buy it in a grocery or cook it with our own hands.


‘In a quite different manner however, the Lord gives us Himself as the Bread which gives eternal life and gives us His Holy Blood as the source of water running into eternal life. And it is not accidental that from the very beginning of the Church of Christ on earth this miracle of the multiplication of the loaves was seen as the image and prototype of the Holy Eucharist which we received from the hands of the Lord Himself. We ask for bread and wine produced by human hands, but the Lord by His divine power turns them into His life-giving Body and His honourable Blood to feed not five or fifty or five hundred thousand but millions of people around the world – the people to whom the Lord Himself said, ‘I am the bread of life’ (Jn. 6:48). ‘I am the source of living water; whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst’ (cf. Jn. 4:14). The Holy Eucharist is the source of spiritual blessings which helps us in our earthly life to unite with the Lord Himself, while remaining in our material bodies.


‘There is a simple physical law: when man takes food, this food is digested by his organism. Particles of this food are absorbed by his flash and blood to become part of his own flesh. When man takes in the Divine Bread – the Body of Christ, this material bread is miraculously united with the material body of man and the Body of Christ becomes part of our body, and the Blood of Christ becomes part of our blood. This is that ineffable and incomprehensible union between God and man which is possible only in the Christian Church and for the sake of which the Lord came to earth.


‘Holy Fathers say that the goal of Christian life is deification, that is, the union of man with God in which man, while remaining in his material body, becomes imbued with the presence and energies of God, in which man, while on earth, lives the life of the upper world. This happens to us in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. In this sacrament we unite with the Lord and the Lord begins to live in us, begins, from within our own body, to feed us with His own Divine Body and His Divine Blood, thus enlivening and giving life to our human nature and burning the sinful principle present in each of us. This sacrament is a great gift of God, but it places a great responsibility for our life, our behaviour, our attitude to God and people.


‘The Lord demands that we should fulfil His holy commandments, that we live by His laws, that the Gospel should be for us not just a book to read but the book with which we verify our everyday life. The sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is indissolubly linked with what happens before and after it. It is not accidental that the Church calls us to be thoroughly prepared for the communion, to purify our hearts through the sacrament of confession, to purify our minds through prayer and repentance, through the attentive and heartfelt participation in the Divine Eucharist. The Eucharist however is also linked with what happens after we have taken communion and after we have been dismissed and come out of the church. Indeed, it is beyond the church that lies the space in which we should manifest our Christian love, our Christian courage, and in which we should do as it befits Christians. If we partake of the Holy Gifts of Christ but our life is not consistent with the gospel’s ideal, then this sacrament proves to be, as St. Paul put it, ‘in judgment’ of us (see, 1 Cor. 11:28-29), like one of the apostles, having partaken of the Last Supper, proved to be unworthy of that holy gift. Whenever we come up to the Holy Cup, we remember this former apostle and pray that we may never make his mistakes, never lapse into duality which led him to betrayal.


‘Our love of God is tested outside the church walls where we encounter human grief, need, evil and perfidy, where the Lord calls us to act in the way He Himself acted among people. In our everyday affairs we should emulate the Lord Himself, looking at Him as the image we should imitate.


‘Whenever we partake of the Holy Gifts of Christ, we will pray that the Lord may give us strength to be good Christians in this world where Christian values have been forgotten by many, where the gospel’s commandments are unknown to many. We will ask the Lord to fill our hearts with the grace and love which helps us to carry our cross of life, which helps us in all life situations to act as it befits Christians. Amen’.


DECR Communication Service

Tripartite meeting held by religious leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill's congratulations to the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America on his namesake day


Condolences of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on the death of people as a result of fire at a hospital in Constanța (Romania)


Congratulations from Patriarch Kirill to Patriarch Daniel of Romania on anniversary of his enthronement


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill presents church awards to DECR chairman and his vice-chairmen


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: Patriarch Bartholomew has lapsed into schism


Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church convenes for second day of work


Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church completes first day of session


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill presides at a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill opens conference on primacy and conciliarity in Orthodoxy


Presentation by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the opening of the ‘World Orthodoxy: Primacy and Conciliarity in the Light of Orthodox Dogmatic Teaching’ conference


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill will open a Conference on the Primacy and Conciliarity in Orthodoxy


Patriarch Kirill leads celebration of Alexander Nevsky’s 800th birthday anniversary in St.Petersburg


Greetings by the Patriarch to the Russian athletes who participated in the 16th Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia awards special representative of the Coptic Patriarchate Dr. Anton Milad


Patriarch-Catholicos Karekin II arrives in Moscow at the invitation of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill


DECR Chairman congratulated His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada on his namesake day


Metropolitan Hilarion: To reveal Christ to people is our most important missionary task


Metropolitan Hilarion meets with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle


DECR chairman meets with Pope Francis of Rome


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk attends interreligious meeting on Religion and Education


Presentation of the DECR Chairman at the interreligious meeting on Religion and Education


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk meets with president of Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk: The Churches are seeking unity on the issue of climate change.


Concern expressed in the Russian Orthodox Church for the destiny of Christian shrines in Kosovo


DECR chairman attends Climate Change Summit of Religious Leaders in Rome


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Holy Synod is to decide how the presence of the Russian Church in Africa is to be structured.


Presentation of Chinese version of Patriarch Kirill’s book "In His Own Words"


DECR chairman sends greetings to His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania on the 14th anniversary of his enthronement


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill presents church awards to DECR chairman and his vice-chairmen


Metropolitan Hilarion: Many things in a person's life depend on faith


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Holy Spirit is the main treasure of the Christian soul


Metropolitan Hilarion: Holiness is a constant striving to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ


Metropolitan Hilarion: God does not want to condemn, but to save us


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord always grants to us the opportunity to display our talents


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has imbued the waters of Jordan with his divine presence to wash away human sins


Metropolitan Hilarion: to repent means to change your way of life


On commemoration day of St. Catherine, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk officiated at the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr In-the-Fields  the representation of the Orthodox Church in America


Metropolitan Hilarion: We can always show compassion for people


Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates on commemoration day of St. Varlaam of Khutyn at the church of ‘Joy to All the Afflicted’ icon of the Mother of God


Metropolitan Hilarion: We should remember that the life of each human being is in the hands of God


Metropolitan Hilarion: For God there is nothing impossible


Metropoplitan Hilarion: The cross which was an instrument of dishonourable execution becomes the symbol of salvation for millions of people


Metropolitan Hilarion: Eucharist is the wedding feast, to which Lord Jesus Christ invites each of us


Metropolitan Hilarion: Faith alone is not enough for salvation


Page is available in the following languages

Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message
Рус Укр Eng Deu Ελλ Fra Ita Бълг ქარ Срп Rom عرب