HOMILY 

By His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America 

At the Great Vespers of the Life-Giving Fountain 

Zoodohos Peghe Greek Orthodox Church 

Bronx, New York 

April 28, 2022 

 

Beloved brothers and sisters in the Risen Lord, 

Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη!  [and in response: Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη!] 

Christ is Risen!   [and in response: Truly He is Risen!] 

Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη!  [and in response: Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη!] 

What a joy it is to return to this wonderful parish of the Life-giving Fountain in the midst of this Week of Renewal. Tonight, we rejoice with the Virgin Mother of God, who is the wellspring from which all the blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ flow. For as the Mother of God, she gave to Her Creator the human nature in which we all share, and which is redeemed by the Resurrection. 

She is the Source, the Font of the Holy Church – into which we are baptized and washed clean in the waters of Baptism, by which we are buried into the Death of our Lord Jesus Christ. For our participation in Christ’s Body is through her body, her created human nature, which she gave freely to her Creator. Thus, she becomes a fountain of healings; for she is perfectly united with her Son in love and compassion for the world. 

This magnificent Feast of the Life-giving Fountain holds a very special place for me personally as a Constantinopolitan. Because to this day, we still have the famous Church of Ζωοδόχος Πηγή in Μπαλουκλί, where the ἁγίασμα still flows with miracles. 

And here in the Bronx, you honor this Sacred Place and our Mother Church of Constantinople. Because you keep the traditions and the knowledge of our history alive. Your Ζωοδόχος Πηγή is a mirror image of Μπαλουκλί, and it reflects the glory across the ocean. You have your own fountain that we have blessed with waters from the Sacred Spring in the Queen of Cities. This dedication and devotion to the traditions of our Church make a firm foundation for the House of the Lord. Hence, we say with confidence: 

Τοῦτον τὸν Οἶκον στερέωσον, Κύριε! 

This, my beloved friends, is what makes us Orthodox Christians. That we know our faith and we transmit it to the generations that are growing up in our midst. And this is what you are doing here at Ζωοδόχος Πηγή. 

You are a community that is filled with the vibrancy of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

You are a Parish with a deep and most significant history in the story of the Omogeneia. 

And you are a Church that is living the faith daily, as the Body of Christ – the Body that was received from the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, as the most perfect gift any human being could give to God. 

 

Therefore, I want to encourage you to continue in your good works and holy undertakings. 

Remember that the Virgin is your leader and your protectress. She will never fail you. 

Persevere in your dedication to the Orthodox Faith. For this is the spiritual basis upon which all blessings flow from the Heavenly Fountain of God’s grace. 

And think of the gifts that you can give to God and to each other. 

The Panagia gave her womb to God, and on behalf of all of us, the very humanity that the Lord took to the Cross and raised from the dead. 

This incalculable gift was repaid by the Lord Himself, when He received her pure soul and body at her holy Dormition. 

But as it says in the Scripture: 

“Let no one appear before the Lord empty-handed.” 1 

Therefore, let each and every one of us think how best to offer unto the Lord of Heaven and Earth. We have in the Ζωοδόχος Πηγή the greatest example of all. And we see how she is ministering to this day with the grace of healing and mercy that God grants through her holy intercessions. 

May we always follow her in prayer, in supplication and, above all, in love. 

Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη! 

 

Photo: GOA/D. Panagos