On August 30, the 17th Sunday after Pentecost, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City. Concelebrating with His Eminence were Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal & Canada and Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, as well as cathedral clergy: dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer, Archpriest Edward Chervinsky, Hieromonk Peter (Milanovic; rector of St. Anastasia the Serbian Chapel in Astoria, NY), Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff, and Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin). The choir sang under the direction of Protodeacon Vadim Gan.
Many parishioners, who came to pray at the service, confessed their sins and communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, Archbishop Gabriel addressed the faithful with a sermon, in which he said, in part:
"In today’s Gospel reading, we heard how a certain young man approached the Savior and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life. It is interesting that this narrative is found in all three Synoptic Gospels, and according to the Apostle Mark, it is directly indicated that our Lord loved the young man, because He saw that he approached with a sincere question. Our Lord then recounted the commandments that must be followed in order to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
"The young man replied that from his youth he had followed all of the commandments. The Lord then told him to sell his belongings, distribute the proceeds to the poor, and follow Him. The young man left saddened, because he was very rich and it was difficult for him to part with the wealth that had allowed him to live a comfortable life.
"The Lord told the apostles that it is difficult for a rich man to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. The apostles were surprised that it was difficult for a rich man to be saved, because in the Old Testament it was said that wealth is a blessing from God. Christ clarified that the main obstacle to saving the soul is not wealth, but when a person himself is a slave to this wealth, and if a person wisely disposes of this wealth and helps those in need, then wealth serves for his salvation. Other passions of a person, which prevent him or her from following Christ, can serve as an obstacle to salvation, just as wealth does."
Archbishop Gabriel urged the faithful to read the Gospel every day, through which the Lord Himself speaks to us, and wherein are all of the answers to the question of what is needed for the salvation of the soul and the inheritance of eternal life.