On May 24, the last Sunday of Paschaltide, of the Blind Man, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City. Concelebrating with His Grace were cathedral dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer and Deacon Nicholas Ilyin (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY). Praying at Liturgy were Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, and Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal & Canada.
Upon completion of Liturgy, His Grace offered a Paschal greeting to the hierarchs and clergy, and delivered a sermon to parishioners who were watching the service over Internet live-stream.
"Today we heard in the Gospel of John about a man born blind, who had never seen God’s light, and about the miracle performed on him by the Savior. A person can see all things and know all things and be proud of this, but at the same time remain blind; only the Lord can open our eyes to the spiritual and salvific life.
"The apostles asked Christ who had sinned, the blind man or his parents, that he had been born blind. And we hear our Savior’s reply, that neither he nor his parents had sinned, but that the works of God be made manifest in this person. And the Lord works a great miracle: the blind man gained his sight, beheld the Lord, beheld the world God had made, and departed joyfully, glorifying the Lord.
"So it can be with us. We are spiritually blind, and see nothing in the spiritual life. Today in particular, we have a special spiritual obedience ‒ to pray at home, to be humble and, most importantly, to view with gratitude to God what is currently taking place. The Lord grants us the opportunity to look within ourselves and to rely on Him completely. And wherever we may be: at home, in school, in church, we can see God’s glory, if we but ask. And the All-merciful Lord can bless us, and heal us, and open our eyes to the spiritual life."
Bishop Nicholas called on the on the faithful to ask of the Lord a great blessing: to help us open our eyes to the right spiritual life in the world, preparing our souls for eternal blessedness.
His Grace reminded those listening that May 24, when the Holy Church honors the memory of the Holy Enlighteners of the Slavs ‒ the Equals-of-the-Apostles Cyril and Methodius ‒ we celebrate the namesday of His Holiness Kyrill, Patriarch of Moscow & All Russia.
Bishop Nicholas also congratulated the previous week’s namesday celebrants: active cathedral parishioners Christopher and Isaiah. The deacon intoned Many Years for Patriarch Kyrill and those who celebrated their namesdays.