September 27, 2022

Homilies on the Great Litany of the Divine Liturgy - Our Fellow Human Beings (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

 Homilies on the Great Litany of the Divine Liturgy

Our Fellow Human Beings  

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

The Church is a great spiritual family, to which belong many members from all ethnicities, who live all over the world and who, while we are at this time in the temple, they are doing something else and are not with us. That is why we feel the need, as brothers and sisters that we are, to pray for them as well. Also, we pray for all the people who are currently doing some kind of work.

Thus, the Priest exhorts us: "For those who travel by land, sea, and air, for the sick, the suffering, the captives and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord." Of course, one should not travel during the Sunday Divine Liturgy, but the Church, as a loving Mother, also prays for those who, due to various urgent needs, do not attend the holy church during the Divine Liturgy.

"Travelers by sea" (πλεόντων) are those who travel the sea, with so many difficulties, whether they are the crew of the ships, whether they are the travelers, or those who work on commercial and warships, or those who fish in the sea, etc. The fact is that they all need God's help, because there are many dangers lurking, storms, reefs, the age of the ships, and in the past also the danger of pirates, etc. Here we must also include those who travel in the air with airplanes, who are also in danger every hour and moment.

"Travelers by land" (οδοιπορούντων) are those who walk the streets, but also those who travel on land in any way and for any reason. In the past there were dangers from robbers, from adverse weather conditions, but today there are other dangers from bad roads, the speeds developed by drivers and their carelessness. Unfortunately, every week and every weekend we mourn many deaths from traffic accidents.

"The sick" (νοσούντων) are the ill who are in pain and suffering from various diseases, either at home or in the hospital, and along with them their relatives suffer and undergo hardship, while the doctors and nursing staff are tired. Every night there are unique vigils in the hospitals, which are the modern temples of pain and human health.

"The suffering" (καμνόντων) are those who endure hardships from various causes, but this category also includes the possessed, who are possessed by the devil, who directs their thinking and their desires. Apart from those whom we describe as possessed in the narrow sense, this category also includes those who are enslaved to various passions and suffer in various ways, since the devil acts through these passions.

"The captives" (αιχμαλώτων) are those who are locked up in concentration camps, they are prisoners of war, but also those who are prisoners of various ideologies and obsessions, of various physical and chemical substances, as well as the prisoners in modern idiosyncratic "concentration camps", which can be notorious centers, where man loses his humanity and his freedom.

How many of our brethren, at this time when we are tasting the love of God, when we are participating in the glorious festival of the Divine Liturgy, are suffering and tormented! We must pray for them too. The Divine Liturgy is beneficial for the whole world.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.