Gorlovka, August 19, 2014
At the end of the service, Archbishop Mitrophan gave a homily to the clergy and parishioners in which he greeted them with the feast, and called upon them not to lose heart during these difficult times when the everyday life of the city has been completely disrupted by war, and people are often completely lacking in the basic necessities:
“Today we are celebrating the feast of the Transfiguration. We cannot ring the church bells, because people will immediately run here shouting, “Why are you ringing? They’ll bomb us for that!” although we don’t know where they got that idea. There is no electricity, no running water. We are serving using prosphora we baked earlier, and when they are all gone we will have to think about what to do next. But in our souls there is no depression, no anguish, only joy. What are we, crazy? No, we are simply Christians. We know that we have something to be joyful about: That we have not done evil to anyone else; we are not killing anyone. That regardless of all the hardships, we still have hope and faith that goodness is always stronger than evil, that it will conquer any evil and any injustice.
“Although the church is dark it is filled with the Divine Light of Mt. Tabor in which the Lord was transfigured before His disciples; but we see Him not with our physical eyes, but with the eyes of our hearts. Precisely for this reason we are joyful today, and a flame of happiness and gratefulness to God burns in our souls. Although it would seem that we have nothing to be joyful about. We do not know what tomorrow will bring; we do not know what will happen to us now, along the road from church. But we believe that the Lord will set it all straight, that all will be well. And this is that very piece of Light, which touches our hearts and souls.”