Holy spirit

Metropolitan of Sweden: Chrismation brings the communion of the Holy Spirit

“Two young people who stand before us today have received truth and enlightenment,” Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden emphasized in his address on the chrismation of the two young Swedish converts which took place in St. George’s Cathedral in Stockholm, Sunday July 17, 2022.

Metropolitan Cleopas welcomed the two new members of the Orthodox Church to the missionary metropolis of Sweden and wished that they might multiply the talents they received through the sacrament of Chrismation and show themselves as righteous vessels who will transmit the light of Christ and of Orthodoxy. “in measure with the stature of the fullness of Christ”.

Most Reverend Dr. Bartholomew,

devout singers,

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,

At the end of today’s Divine Liturgy, we will be called to witness and join the sacred author of the Holy Psalter of the Church in crying out: “we have seen the true light, we have received the heavenly, we have found the true faith, adoring the indivisible Trinity, which has saved us”.

And, surely, it could not be otherwise, because not long ago we saw the Only Begotten Son and the Logos of God present among us and interacting with us with extreme condescension, we heard him preach to us the truths of the Kingdom of Heaven, and then to offer himself as a “ransom for the many”, granting to all who participate in Him through the sacrament of Holy Communion “the forgiveness of sins and eternal life”.

This truth – or rather, this reality lived by the Church – was transmitted to us by the Holy Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, whom we commemorate today, and who formulated the doctrine of the Church concerning the person of Our- Lord and left her sacred. inheritance to the Body of Christ – the Church – so that we may know how the pre-eternal Logos took on human flesh and shared our common passions, though he himself was sinless by nature.

In today’s Gospel reading, we heard the Lord call his followers, and by extension all of us who have been baptized in his name, “the light of the world.” In other words, He Himself bestows on each of us one of His traits, as we confess in the Nicene Creed. There we recognize that Christ is “light of light”. Thus, Our Lord calls us “sons of light”, whereas according to the Apostle Saint Paul we are “illuminated children of the Church”.

These references speak of the light that illuminates every person who enters this world. It is not the visible light, but the light of the soul. It is the light that leads to the recognition of truth. For Christians, truth is not an idea or a philosophical theory, but a person. It is Christ himself.

Two young people who stand before us today have received truth and enlightenment. They are two native Swedes, who belonged to another Christian denomination, however, each of them heard a call – an invitation addressed to them by the Lord. After having transformed their soul into fertile ground, the word of God has blossomed, borne fruit, and today they will receive the seal of the Holy Spirit through the holy sacrament of chrismation, so that they may become enlightened bearers of Holy Spirit, and preachers of the true faith.

Baptism brings with it the power of the cross and the death of Christ, while chrismation brings the communion of the Holy Spirit.

These two young people share something in common, besides their good intentions to learn about the Orthodox Christian faith and life.

The mother of one of them – Clint – speaks Greek, although she belongs to the Lutheran Church of Sweden.

The other, William, also speaks Greek. His decision came from the depths of his heart and was accompanied by his decision to study Orthodox Christian theology.

Clint has the inclination and the call to “join the priesthood”, to become a preacher of truth and to serve God and man, having first acquired the corresponding academic training, while leading an Orthodox Christian life.

And so, these two inspired young people accepted the good alteration brought by the Holy Spirit. About them we can easily say: “It is the change of the right hand of the Most High!” We often hear people refer to the concept of change in a satirical way, suggesting that sometimes, due to certain actions or missteps of responsible members of the Church, an alteration in character is attempted or brought about, which ultimately leads to degradation, or some action is taken that transforms or changes someone for the worse.

This, however, is a corruption of the good alteration that takes place in the Church, since the Church itself is the Body of Christ, which has “neither stain nor spot nor anything like it”, but rather “holy and immaculate”. », just like its head, its founder Jesus Christ. And we must certainly never forget that everything that happens here in the Church is not the work of one person or even of many, but the result of the abundant mercy of God.

It is God Himself who gave to the Church “first apostles, then prophets, then teachers” (1 Cor. 12:27), and continues to bestow various gifts upon each of us until at the end of time.

I therefore welcome the two new members of the Orthodox Church of the Missionary Metropolis of Sweden on behalf of all of you, with the hope that they may multiply the talents they have received today through the sacrament of chrismation and show themselves to be righteous vessels that will transmit the light of Christ and of Orthodoxy “in proportion to the stature of the fullness of Christ”, as did also the Holy Fathers whom we honor today. Amen!