July 20, 2022

Homily One on the Glorious Prophet Elijah (Archimandrite George Kapsanis)

By Archimandrite George Kapsanis

(Delivered in 1984)

For all Christians, in whatever situation they are in, the Prophet Elijah is a model and an example. For those living in the world, he is a model and example with his faith and devotion to God, and the faithful observance of His holy commandments, and the spiritual zeal he had. For the pastors of the Church, because he did not retreat from seeking the statutes of the Lord God Almighty. But also for the monks, because the Prophet also loved the solitary life, and noetic and secret prayer he is considered a teacher and initiate, but also of virginity he was a lover and representative, and in fact one of the few men of the Old Testament who had the gift of virginity. For all these reasons we feel the Prophet Elijah very close to us, we love him, we honor him, we ask for his intercessions and we admire his life, his works, his faith, his love for God, but also his boldness which he had before the Lord.

He obeyed God's will perfectly, and God then obeyed him. This is because the Lord "does the will of those who fear him" (Ps. 144:19). Wonderful and unique is the Prophet's boldness before God and how the All-Good God listened to the Prophet and obeyed him.

So today we ask for the blessing of the Prophet Elijah. We do not forget that he is one of the two men of the Old Testament, who also participated in the New Testament through his appearance on Mount Tabor, during the Divine Transfiguration of the Lord, together with the Prophet Moses. The Lord chose two men from the Old Testament, the Prophet Elijah and the Prophet Moses, which shows how great a relationship they had both with Christ and with the second coming of the Lord.

Let us also struggle, my brothers, and let us ask today for the blessing of the Prophet Elijah, that we too have a holy zeal with discernment, a spiritual zeal for the commandments of the Lord and for the exactitude of the monastic state, which we have been called to live with the blessings of the Prophet Elijah. Because, if I remember correctly, the tonsure also mentions the Prophet Elijah as one of the leaders of the monastic state.

We don't know how much longer the Lord will allow us to live in this life, but I think that what we should all beg Him for is to find us worthy to experience His love and die in His love. And when we live, let us live the love of Christ; and when we die, let us die for the love of Christ; and then I think there is no problem. Because "whether we live or die, we are the Lord's" (Rom. 14:8), and therefore we are with Christ together, and life is blessed, and death is resurrection, and thus all problems are solved. It is enough to be with Christ, in the love of Christ, both the living and the dead.

May the Prophet Elijah help us and good strength in our spiritual struggle.

: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.