Sermon on Sunday of Orthodoxy at Pan-Orthodox Vespers, St George Antiochian Church, Cicero IL, (a suburb of Chicago), March 13, 2022
Bishop Maxim (Vasiljevic) of Western Diocese
Your Eminences, Your Graces, dear brothers and sisters,
It is a joy to be here, united together in prayer on this special day celebrating the victory of truth and restoration of icons. Together, we have begun our Lenten journey with a week of prayer, fasting, and worship, seeking to strengthen our faith and renew our promise to God and His good will, His eudokia. Today, the inaugural week of Great Lent culminates in the celebration of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, a commemoration of the triumph of the true Faith with the final restoration of the Holy Icons to the churches in the year 843.
Significantly enough, our Orthodox Church has chosen the commemoration of the Seventh Ecumenical Council to be the Sunday of Orthodoxy. As is well known, this Council dealt with the issue of Icons, but it did not put forth any propositional definition of the faith. In declaring, “This is the faith of the Fathers; this is the faith which has sustained the oecumene,” the Council pointed to a form of “theology,” the icon, which was the liturgical experience of the community and required no subscription to conceptual or ideological statements. To be Orthodox means to enter in the universal liturgical concelebration and not to look for heresies around.