Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
Today, the Church celebrates the beginning of a new Ecclesiastical Year, a renewed participation of Orthodox Christians into the history of salvation.
According to Holy Tradition, Our Lord and Savior entered the synagogue on September 1st, formally announcing his mission (Luke 4:16-22). Jesus, quoting the Holy Prophet Isaiah proclaimed, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because he has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent me to proclaim and release to captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Isaiah 61:1-2)
Likewise, through the leadership and great example of our Ecumenical Patriarch, His All-Holiness Bartholomew, we further commemorate all of creation and the environment, of which we are all called to be faithful stewards.
His All-Holiness reminds us that “the logos of the beauty of creation is an invitation addressed by God to humanity, an invitation to a personal relationship and communion with Him. It is a living and life-giving relationship. Contemporary ecology could then become the practical response of humanity to this divine invitation, a tangible participation in a relationship with God.” (University of the Aegean, Mytiline, Greece, October 27, 1994)
By proclaiming Himself the fulfillment of Isaiah’s words, Jesus Christ invites each of us to bear witness, and actively take part in His Life-Giving and Saving Passion, Resurrection and Glorious Second Coming – attending Orthros and Vespers regularly, receiving the Holy Sacraments, treating each other with respect and love, respecting our campus environment – its facilities and wildlife, and performing acts of mercy to those in need.
In this new ecclesiastical year, let us as a community put our Orthodox Christian Faith to action, and celebrate with joy and thanksgiving, the opportunity to work and study at the only Orthodox Christian college and seminary of its kind in North America, growing spiritually in communion with Jesus Christ and one another.
To all of the new students and administration staff, I wish you, once again, a heartfelt welcome, and further welcome back those who are returning from summer break and vacation. I look forward to working and praying with you in the weeks and months ahead.
May God bless you for all your work!
Rev. Fr. Christopher T. Metropulos