Liturgy in Ho Chi Minh

On March 3, 2024, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, governor of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the parish in honor of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. His Eminence was co-served by Hieromonk Cornelius (Molev), Secretary of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, and Priest Eugene Tsukalo, Dean of the Vietnamese Deanery. At the end of the Liturgy, His Eminence addressed the audience: “Dear fathers, brothers and sisters, I am very glad to share the joy of liturgical communion with you this Sunday. This is the day when the Holy Church remembers the parable of the prodigal son. You and I have heard in the gospel narrative how one of the father’s sons asked for his share, which belonged to his son. The father agreed and gave this part. And the son did not spend much time with this share of his estate, which he received from his father, and quickly dissolved it, because he lived prodigally. And he decided to return to his father and repent, saying that I have no right to call you father, because I have sinned before Heaven and before you. And when the father saw his son returning, he dressed him in his best clothes, organized a holiday, “stabbed a fat calf,” and invited the guests to celebrate this event. As it is said: “He was dead and came to life, was lost and was found.” And the older brother, who always obeyed his father, was offended. Returning from the field, he heard festive singing in the house and asked what was going on in my house? And I got the answer: “Your brother is back, and your father is having a party.” But he did not even want to enter the house, and his father begged him to accept his brother. This parable has 2 important contents for us: the fall and repentance, return to the father. Like a Christian, accepting pure Faith from baptism, then lives in fornication, sins, but realizes and returns to the bosom of God. It shows the fall and the fruits of repentance, awareness and return to the truth. And the other side: through the elder brother, it is shown that it is necessary to forgive the sinner. On this Sunday before Lent, the Church prepares us for it so that each of us can look at our lives: am I living right, am I doing everything to save my soul, and what do I need to do to improve? We are standing on the eve of Lent to change our lives for the better, get rid of sins and worthily meet the risen Christ the Savior, who came to earth for the salvation of the human race to give all the saving means. We will learn to forgive, we will carry love so that the Lord forgives us and recognizes us. Once again, my dear ones, I thank you all for your common prayers, may God grant God’s help to all of us. I would like to share my joy about the meeting with the leadership of the Committee on Religious Affairs, which was successful and useful, because now we have the opportunity to register our communities, and we will legally hold our services in this country.This is indeed the grace of God. Once again, I congratulate everyone on the holiday, God bless everyone!”