Sydney, 14th September 2021

Dear all faithful of our God-protected Archdiocese.

I pray you are well and safe.

Today, September 14, we commemorate the Elevation (Exaltation) of the Holy and Life-giving Cross.

On this day we praise, and we implore the Holy Cross saying:

“O Cross of Christ, thou Hope of Christians, Guide of them that are astray, Haven of the storm-tossed, Victory in war, Surety of the whole world, Physician of the sick, and Resurrection of the dead: Have mercy on us”.
(Matins of the Feast)

This major historical and ecclesiastical event reminds us that: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16)

During these difficult times as most of us are isolated in our homes and many are suffering due to Covid-19, I understand the emotional, spiritual, and financial difficulties you are experiencing, and as your Church, we are constantly praying for you all. We also pray for the sick and for their speedy recovery and for the rest of the souls of those who are departed.

I would like to confirm to you what the hierarchs of the Holy Synod of Antioch stated at the beginning of this pandemic that:

“The Church confirms that all its people, regardless of their different opinions and various positions, remain her children. She invites them to preserve the bond of peace, unity, and love that brings us together in Christ”.

My beloved, always remember that for Christian believers, freedom, in its depth stems from Christ, who set us free from the slavery of sins through His Cross, and also stems from the Holy Spirit as “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17). At the same time, we are told “beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak” (1 Corinthians 8:9).

I would like to express a hope that, through the common efforts of everyone, we will manage to overcome this pandemic as soon as possible. I believe in the power of God and His mercy. But I also would like to believe that we all will behave reasonably, show responsibility for each other, take care of those around us, carrying each other’s burdens and praying for each other. By showing such goodness and love, we will attract the grace of the Holy Spirit, and the mercy of our heavenly Father. Amen.

Sincerely in Christ,

✝︎ Metropolitan BASILIOS