The Holy Archangel Michael Parish and Church Community in Homebush, celebrated its patronal feast day the Holy Archangel Michael on Sunday, 19th of November 2017. This year’s feast day has broken all the previous attendance records. Close to 200 hundred people have gathered to celebrate and partake in the glorious occasion.
The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was served by His Grace Siluan, Bishop of the Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand. Concelebrating with His Grace at the Divine Liturgy were; Presbyter Veselin Svorcan, (the parish priest), Presbyter Aleksandar Ivanovic, Protodeacon, Deacon Miladin Tripic and Subdeacon Veljko Mrakic. The faithful of this small and humble but spiritually strong and active parish gathered at early hours to complete the final prongreparations and to welcome their Bishop. The Choir Master with the main adult Choir as well as the Children’s Choir welcomed His Grace with the usual chant to Holy Theotokos “It is truly meet to bless you”. The Divine Service began with His Grace Bishop Siluan elevating our beloved Choir Master George Georgiadis to the ranking of a Reader. The worthiness of this honour bestowed on our brother George was confirmed by the faithful who exclaimed, Axios, Worthy, Dostojan.
This small, until recently virtually unknown parish, has become a true pilgrimage for the faithful from various Orthodox Churches and even to some from other denominations and faiths. Our Lord bestowed a special blessing on this Parish and its community when the metal Cross, used for the Feast of The Elevation of The Holy Cross, began to gush myrrh almost two months ago. The myrrh that began to come out of the Cross with an intense and formidable fragrance, permeating the whole Church, has had undeniable influences on everyone who came into its presence. This miracle took place on Saturday evening after the vespers service and the Akathist to the Cross on 30th of September 2017 at our parish in Homebush. The providence and mysteries by which our Lord holds everything in His hands are not searchable nor possible to understand, however, we believe that miracle is a manifestation of His love towards His faithful. Our Lord who stretches his hands on the Cross embraces all nations who are willing to come and follow Him. His blessings and Grace through His miracles have multitude of reasons and meanings; but we can never be wrong if we begin to correct our lives, not only to seeking healing and fulfilment of our prayers, but rather living according to His commandments.
In His sermon, His Grace Bishop Siluan, expounded on this by saying that this parish is an exemplary and commendable in many ways, a wonderful vessel and a temple of salvation. It is here where we can hear the truth that sets us free, where all nations can come together and be one in Christ. His Grace compared the works of this parish to a monastery, where serious spiritual struggles are fought and practiced. A house of true prayer and regular services are the characteristics of an active parish. His Grace further illuminated the minds of the faithful by elaborating on the miracle that has been bestowed upon this parish. His Grace called the people to reflect on Christ’s saving Gospel and teachings, reminding us not to be lukewarm to the outside influence, to stay firm with what the true Orthodoxy is, the path that Martyrs took, never to deny Christ and His saving commandments. The very purpose of our existence is to be able to unite ourselves with God, to live in synergy with Him Who did everything possible for us. Our Lord, Jesus Christ is a model of perfect humanity that is threatened by those who have separated themselves from the true Church and His life saving energies. We don’t need miracles but they are bestowed due to our weaknesses and to assist us in strengthening our faith, to stay firm in the faith when temptations come upon us, to show that God is with us, that He will not abandon us, that when He touches our souls we are transformed into the true person of light and love, said His Grace.
After the Liturgy a festal luncheon was served in honour of the parish feast for all the assembled people. The presence of many children who enjoyed in playing games in the beautiful and crowded Churchyard added to the beauty of the day.