Sunday of Orthodoxy ( 14.03.2006 )
Today, on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, in the chapel of the Veljusa monastery of the Most Holy Theotokos Eleusa, Metropolitan Nahum of Strumica celebrated Divine Liturgy and ordained to deaconate the monk Anatolius from the brotherhood of the Forty Holy Martyrs of Sebaste in Bansko. After the reading from the Gospel for this Sunday, His Eminence interpreted the conversation between Jesus and Nathanael.
Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!" Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." Nathanael answered Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel." Jesus answered and said to him, "Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these" (John 1:47-50)
This is an evidence of prayerful union, since when Christ said to Nathanael ‘when you were under the fig tree, I saw you’, He in fact said he knew Nathanael had prayed under fig the tree. Nathanael, for his part, with his answer said he recognized in Christ Him Whom he had prayed to, because He alone could know what was in his heart. Hence, Nathanael’s prayer was much powerful and sincere.
Prayer to the Lord, for its part, can resemble our addressing the king from a crowd. He sees before him a multitude of people, he can hear they all are crying out and talking, but knows not exactly who is saying what. Prayer can also be similar to our being among the ten people close to the king. Then he knows exactly who, how and with what is addressing him. Yet it can also resemble our conversation with the king face-to-face. Such, face-to-face, was the prayer of Nathanael. Therefore he later became an apostle, preached the Gospel of Christ and suffered for Christ.