His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
Remarks at the Youth Luncheon Following the Divine Liturgy
September 24, 2023
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Charlotte, North Carolina
Your Eminence, Metropolitan Alexios, Beloved Brother,
Dear Brothers, Metropolitan Gregory of Nyssa and
Metropolitan Dimitrios of Xanthos,
Reverend Proïstamenos Jonathon Resmini and Reverend Clergy,
Beloved Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Dear Young People of this Cathedral,
As I conclude my time with this wonderful Cathedral Community, I can think of no better closing than to gather with the Youth of the parish in a fellowship Agape Meal.
We often look to you, the young people of the parishes, as the “future” of the Church. But from the perspective of Holy Time—of “Kairos” – the present moment is where we encounter eternity. Therefore, the youth of the Church are as much the present as they are the future.
Your energy, your vitality, and your innovative spirit are needed in the Church now! Our mutual future depends on your involvement now! And whatever you can facilitate in your Cathedral to incorporate your voices into the ongoing conversation about parish life and ministry, I encourage your every effort – both from the young people and the more senior folk.
I remind everyone – there is a reason that we do not wait to baptize even infants – those who cannot yet speak. We are all members of the One Family of God.
Our Father, Who is in Heaven, presides in eternal love. His Only-Begotten Son, our Elder Brother, manifests Divine Life to us. And the All-Holy Spirit empowers us to live in the fullness of our Christian vocation.
You are the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, and each of you relates to the Divine Persons through your presence and contributions.
Therefore, for the young people whom we honor today, I say this:
The next Century of this Cathedral belongs to you now.
The decisions you make with your lives will have both immediate and long-term impact on the course of this precious community.
Some of you will become active Church leaders in your local community. Others may have a national reach in the affairs of the Metropolis and the Archdiocese. And still others may even enter the ranks of the clergy.
No matter how you respond to God’s call in your lives, each of you will bring unique gifts and talent to the fore. Because each of you is a unique manifestation of God’s love for the world. Each of you reflects the Only-Begotten Son of God as a singular human being. No one has ever been like you. No one is like you now. And no one will ever be like you again.
So the moment today is yours. I conclude with that marvelous Latin expression of the Roman Poet, Horace:
Carpe Diem! Seize the Day!*
May the Holy Trinity: the Eternal Father, the Co-Eternal Son, and the All-Holy, Good, and Life-creating Spirit, always inspire you to fulfill all your hopes and dreams.
May you always aspire to be the very best person that you can be.
And may God grant to the blesséd youth of this Cathedral to embrace their role and vocation in the Church – with devotion, dedication, and above all … love.
Now and forever, and unto the ages of ages.
* Odes, I.11.
Photos: Helen McGinnis