Memoral Day of the Holy Bishop Martyr Platon
Homily at the sinodial liturgy of the Memorial Day of the Holy Bishop Martyr Platon at the Church of Transfiguration of Our Lord in Tallinn on the 15th of January 2013, the 90th anniversary of the EOC.
All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:
For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
That, my beloved, was a moment of infinite joy and boisterous sense of gratitude. Christ had sent 70 disciples. Whereby, mark my words. Not alone. But by two. So that each and every Christ-confessing brethren could share an unselfish harmony of caring and patience, united in Christ. And they came back rejoicing, full of enthusiasm and mature experiences of how the coming of the Kingdom of God should be explained to people.
Our Lord used to sing thanksgiving prayers after every event of His lifetime that touched the delivering of mankind. So He did this time. He thanked the Father, honouring the material of the building – His disciples. Those, who, trusting Him, went to counter the unknown adventures. By sending His disciples into unknown, He knew, what kind of burden they had to carry. For, to build His Church on Earth, to build it of people and for the salvation of our souls, He can see the entirety of the Church. And among that entirety each joy, moment, time, event, change and suffering has its role. Bound with other links in the history of mankind.
Both today and all our liftime we also confess, just as the disciples of the returned Christ, that our autonomous Orthodox Church of Estonia is the part of the Body of Christ, Holy Church, built by the walls of the confessions of the apostles. No might or power could tear that apart or isolate from Christ.
But naturally not all people believe that. It would be impossible. The world of godless minds has giving birth and still does ideologies that there or here, today or yesterday could not tolerate true religious perspective. The world brings forth jealousy, harassment, pride and ignorance. For those are the conveniences of ignorant man so comfortable to lay on. True and sincere, responsibility-demanding faith is a tremendously difficult partner for this world. That concludes human relations and relations between human and society or nations and states. Specially, when the societies are still molested by Scylla of sick ideologies of calculation systems or Charybdis of the desires of the new world. Faith, you see, cannot really be managed, it cannot be set in a frame, captured, restrained or suffocated. For living faith is true freedom. Genuinely free man cannot be conquered at all. He can only be killed.
Christ sent His disciples to confess of the Kingdom of God and salvation for all human souls, not only far away in time and space. But also quite lately here, in Estonia. Being aware of the birth of Estonian nation-state He gave the consecration of a bishop to father Platon. In addition, it was necessary to appoint several priests, deacons and servants. To be the seed of the autonomous Orthodox Church of Estonia. They were sent just as were sent those 70 in the gospel we heard. But. Unlike 70 disciples our people came back to Christ and gave their gratitude quite another way. They came in the bodies of martyrs, cut by red bayonets and sabers, hanged by hemp ropes, burnt by irons of metal factories, penetrated by carbine bullets. Simple, loving Estonian orthodox people, around whom you can always be filled with the incense of their regard, willingness, attention and philanthropy! Those people were covered by cataract of the bewilderment, viciousness, envy, rage, denial and betrayal of the authorities. There was only one instrument that could remove the cataract. Blood for Christ. And so the answer of our Church to former enemies is – the great and growing amount of intercessors, holy new martyrs of the Orthodox Church of Estonia.
We held the autonomy of our church dear, knowing, that the grout of this building has been blended with the blood of martyrs. We are firm in our faith, knowing, that even if all other things vanish, this will stay. We keep our hope, for hope never dies. We keep our love for our Church, for within its dignity will be expressed our true humanity.
Father Sakarias Leppik
The international version of the EOC internet site www.orthodoxa.org. is already acquainted by many visitors. Since buildup and focus of that site is not covering all the aspects of our activities, we decided to establish current site www.eoc.ee. Both sites give visitors possibility to discover more about orthodoxy in general and about present life of the EOC.