Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Repose of the Holy Evangelist and Apostle John the Theologian, the patron saint of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
The Holy Apostle John was beloved and ever-close to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was present at the raising of Jairus’ daughter, and a witness to the Holy Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor. He reclined on Our Lord at the The Last Supper, and courageously, and faithfully followed Christ when He was bound and led from the Garden of Gethsemane. The Holy Apostle John was the only one of the Apostles to stand at the foot of the Cross, and he was entrusted by Our Lord to the Holy Theotokos, whom he served until her Holy Dormition. He wrote one of the Four Gospels of the New Testament, three Epistles and The Book of Revelations.
“He (St. John) clearly went through all the Teacher’s instructions, miracles and sufferings, benefitting everyone with his words and actions, bringing people out of darkness into light, making the unworthy worthy, and himself suffering for their sake. He did not undergo just one death to bear witness to Jesus and for our good, in other words, out of love for God and men, but delivered himself to death throughout his whole life.” (St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 44)
Therefore, it is no coincidence that the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John is the patron of our sacred theological school. His understanding, teachings and exemplary life of love and compassion for Jesus Christ and our neighbor are lessons that all of us at Hellenic College Holy Cross can learn from and strive to imitate, whether we serve our community in the administration or graduate to serve the Church and society in leadership capacities; “becoming not just hearers of his words but also doers.” (Ibid.)
Let us therefore express respect, gratitude and love to our school and for all – inside and outside of the gates of Hellenic College Holy Cross – thanking God for the opportunity and freedom to learn and worship in the Orthodox Christian Faith; for being chosen; for the courage to have answered His Call. And, like the Holy Apostle John, for the opportunity to die with Him to this life, while in this life, as we serve Him and await His Glorious Second Coming.
With Love in Christ,
Rev. Fr. Christopher T. Metropulos