Orthodoxy is not only true but also beautiful, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel said Sunday addressing the faithful present at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest.
The Patriarch of Romania said that the Sunday of Orthodoxy commemorated on March 5 is not only the Sunday of true faith but also the Sunday we commemorate the imperishable beauty of the glory of the Most Holy Trinity, of the Mother of God and of all the Saints in the Kingdom of Heaven.
It is the Sunday of the glorious Kingdom of God, the Sunday in which angels and saints rejoice, His Beatitude added.
Referring to the icons as open windows towards the Kingdom of God’s eternal love and of the glory of the Most Holy Trinity, the Patriarch noted that the processions organised on this occasion represent a profession of faith.
When we profess our true faith, the Heavens open and we joyfully foretaste the joy of God’s Kingdom, we partake of the unfading light and of the eternal gladness existing in the Kingdom of Heaven. This is Orthodoxy, the Patriarch said.
His Beatitude delivered his homily during the Divine Liturgy officiated March 5 on the Hill of Joy. Together with the Primate of the Romanian Church concelebrated Their Graces Varlaam of Ploiesti, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch, and Timotei of Prahova, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest.
Focusing of the Feast of Orthodoxy, the Patriarch said during his homily that we celebrate the Triumph of the Church upon all heresies and the restoration of the holy icons.
His Beatitude went on to explain that icons do not represent a simple aesthetic ornament, a decoration. He stressed that icons are a necessity, a liturgical way of confessing the Truth, a means to profess the true faith.
The icon, the Patriarch said, is the profession of the truth of Christ’s Embodiment, Death and Resurrection and a proclamation of His eternal glory, which is shared with those who believe in Him.
Icons represent a liturgical way to confess silently and constantly the truth that the Son of the Invisible God has become visible. The Eternal One has become a mortal man so that through His death and resurrection may grant us eternal life. Through icons, we confess the truth of the embodiment or incarnation of the Eternal Son of God so that humans may become deified by grace.
Icons have also a pedagogic role, the Patriarch noted. They direct us to the Kingdom of God, the ultimate purpose of our life.
Icons show us the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven as our ultimate target, the Patriarch explained saying that man is not made for the tomb, but for the heavenly eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
It does not suffice to say that the icon is a window to heaven, the Patriarch said ending his homily, we must point out that icons are windows towards the Kingdom of Heaven, towards the unfading, uncreated and eternal glory of the Kingdom of God.
Patriarch Daniel marks the anniversary of his episcopal consecration on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. Back on March 4, 1990, His Beatitude was consecrated a bishop in the Metropolitan Cathedral in Timișoara. For almost thirty years after his episcopal consecration, Patriarch Daniel has marked this anniversary in prayer, by celebrating the Divine Liturgy.