|05/05/17||Visit of the Holy Fire to St. James! - |
As many of you may have heard, the Holy Fire, which miraculously appears to the Patriarch of Jerusalem in the Holy Sepulcher each Holy Saturday afternoon to the delight of thousands of pilgrims, is in the United States for the first time in history. It was brought by priests from Moscow, who received it from Jerusalem before the beginning of the Paschal service this year.
There has been a concerted effort to bring the fire to as many parishes as possible over the last few weeks. We are pleased and blessed to announce our mission parish will also be among those to receive the Holy Fire this weekend. It will be arriving before Vespers on Saturday afternoon and be available to any of the faithful that day, or after Divine Liturgy or coffee hour on Sunday. Because of this, we will not have the scheduled coffee hour class this week.
If you wish to take the fire home with you, please bring a candle (the larger the better) with you. When you get home the fire can then be used to light the lampada in your icon corner, or can be used to trace the sign of the cross on the lintels of your doorways. We will leave it lit at church as long as possible.
This is a great blessing for our parish, and we hope that everyone will participate in this sharing of one of the greatest miracles in all of Christendom!
|04/18/17||CHRIST IS RISEN! - |
The reign of life has begun, the tyranny of death is ended. A new birth has taken place, a new life has come, a new order of existence has appeared, our very nature has been transformed! This birth is not brought about by human generation, by the will of man, or by the desire of the flesh, but by God.
If you wonder how, I will explain in clear language. Faith is the womb that conceives this new life, baptism the rebirth by which it is brought forth into the light of day. The Church is its nurse; her teachings are its milk, the bread from heaven is its food. It is brought to maturity by the practice of virtue; it is wedded to wisdom; it gives birth to hope. Its home is the kingdom; its rich inheritance the joys of paradise; its end, not death, but the blessed and everlasting life prepared for those who are worthy.
This is the day the Lord has made – a day far different from those made when the world was first created and which are measured by the passage of time. This is the beginning of a new creation. On this day, as the prophet says, God makes a new heaven and a new earth. What is this new heaven? you may ask. It is the firmament of our faith in Christ. What is the new earth? A good heart, a heart like the earth, which drinks up the rain that falls on it and yields a rich harvest.
In this new creation, purity of life is the sun, the virtues are the stars, transparent goodness is the air, and the depths of the riches of wisdom and knowledge, the sea. Sound doctrine, the divine teachings are the grass and plants that feed God’s flock, the people whom he shepherds; the keeping of the commandments is the fruit borne by the trees.
On this day is created the true man, the man made in the image and likeness of God. For this day the Lord has made is the beginning of this new world. Of this day the prophet says that it is not like other days, nor is this night like other nights. But still we have not spoken of the greatest gift it has brought us. This day destroyed the pangs of death and brought to birth the firstborn of the dead.
I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and to your God. O what wonderful good news! He who for our sake became like us in order to make us his brothers, now presents to his true Father his own humanity in order to draw all his kindred up after him.
- St. Gregory of Nyssa