On the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord metropolitan Pavel celebrated the Divine Liturgy in General Santos

On February 15, 2023, on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the church in honor of the Resurrection of Christ in General Santos in the province of South Cotabato, on the island of Mindanao. His Eminence was co-served by the Secretary of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, Hieromonk Cornelius (Molev), the rector of the church, Priest Roman Buniel, and the clergy of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese. The deaconess rank was headed by Hierodeacon Nikodim (Pirkhovsky). By the Metropolitan’s decree, for the diligent service to the Holy Church, the rector of the parish in honor of the Resurrection of Christ, General Santos, Priest Roman Buniel was awarded the right to wear a loincloth. During the Liturgy, Metropolitan Pavel ordained the reader Juventinus Bulakvenya as a deacon. At the end of the service, Metropolitan Pavel addressed the audience: “Dear fathers, brothers and sisters! Allow me to congratulate everyone on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord! On this day, Saint Simeon the God-Receiver took Christ into his own hands and thanked God: “Now let Your servant depart in peace, Master, according to Your word!”, for it was promised to him – until he sees Christ, he will not die. It is said in the Holy Scriptures that Simeon the God-Receiver was a man of holy life and was honored to take into his hands the God-Child and thus sum up his earthly life. He was expecting this event. One can only imagine what joy he had when the Lord promises and you get what you ask for, and he asked for a meeting with God. Each of us desires a meeting with God, so that the Lord will guide us in this earthly life and in eternity, everyone truly desires this. But the Lord does not appear to everyone during His lifetime, only to those who live holy on Earth. And we follow this path, waiting, hoping, trusting the Lord that He is with us, even if we are unworthy of meeting Him now. The fact that He makes it possible to perform the Sacrament of Holy Communion with His Body and Blood, and to unite with Him, is a great providence of God for each of us. It is not for nothing that the Lord says: “Whoever does this in my memory will not see death”. And we know that everyone is alive with God, the soul is immortal. Having lived an earthly life, the soul goes to God and remains in Eternity with him. May God grant us to follow this right, true path, on which the Lord has chosen and set us. I am very glad to meet you, celebrating the Divine Liturgy here, praying together, and I hope that the Lord will give us the strength to see each other more often. The Lord has given us the opportunity during these two weeks of our visit to the Philippines to increase our church with pastors — priests and deacons. We have performed the seventh ordination today and I thank God that our church is developing and growing both flock and pastors. I congratulate you, I wish you spiritual and physical strength, God’s help to all! I thank everyone for the service, for the common prayers!”