His Grace Father Bishop Macarie: “Let us keep away the blindness of the Pharisees who believed that righteousness is on their side”

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These days His Grace Bishop Macarie Drăgoi of the Diocese of Northern Europe was present among the Romanians in the Kingdom of Norway. On this occasion, the hierarch visited the parish communities of Førde and Bergen, and on Thursday, May 30, 2019, he celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Oslo parish church and blessed a family of Romanians at the anniversary of 30 years of marriage. The children attending the service received gifts from the hierarch and the faithful worshiped the icon of the Mother of God “Gorgoepikoos” or “She who is Quick to Hear [Prayers]”, kept in the parish church in the capital of Norway.

Interpreting the Gospel of John about the Good Shepherd, read at the Divine Liturgy on the Thursday of the 5th Week after Easter, His Grace Macarie said: “I sense from the depths of my heart the need to convey a word of soul, an exhortation to reconciliation, unity and humanity, to the awareness of our vulnerable condition and to the need of together-passion, of the work together for the glory of God. Otherwise, we will not be able to make any progress either in spiritual life or in our day-to-day life. Today’s gospel shows this clearly. The Savior rebuked the Pharisees who believed the moral elites of the Jewish people, for they claimed to distinguish good from evil and truth from lies but rejected the Truth and the Good Incarnated in Christ. Let us beware of the blindness of the Pharisees, who believed that righteousness was on their side. Let us beware of the false shepherds, as Christ urges us in the Gospel, of the “strangers” who do not lay their lives for the flock and who do not feel in their heart for the people. How can we do this? Turning before the Good Shepherd, aware of our limits, rejecting self-sufficiency, self-justification, fanaticism, blindness and condemnation of the other. Only so can we reconcile with God and our neighbor, that is how we can be Christians. Only so can we save our souls and lives”.

After the service, the “St. Stephen the Great” Youth Center, the Oslo branch, organized several events for the children in the community on the occasion of the International Children’s Day.

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