Continuing in the Joy of the Resurrection and Moving Beyond!
Dearest Spiritual Ohana,
Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
We continue in the Joy of the Resurrection thru the first half of May and move into the celebration of the Ascension of our Lord (May 17th) and into Pentecost (May 27th) towards the end of the month. A most blessed and beautiful season continues and also draws to an end, with closing of the Liturgical Book of the “Pentecostarion” with the celebration of the Sunday of All Saints, on June 3rd. I pray that the joy of this season remains radiant and bright at all times, in your hearts! It is the Holy Spirit that keeps our hearts illumined with the remembrance and glorification of Almighty God. It is with every Sunday, that we commemorate the Lord’s Resurrection. The word Sunday, in fact, in Greek,“Kuriakh,” means the “Lord’s Day.”
I take this time to thank each of you for your part in helping to make Holy Week and Pascha a wonderful, fulfilling and memorable experience! I would like to recognize all, without mentioning specific names, for the following, plus more: donations towards flowers for the Tomb (Kouvouklion) and all items needed throughout Holy Week, our Parish Council who undertook coverage for the many services, the women who decorated the Tomb, the Myrrhbearers, our chanters, our choir, our readers, our altar servers, donors and preparers of the fish for the Palm Sunday Luncheon, our paschal egg preparers, those who helped make our Paschal Picnic so special, and all!
I congratulate our “newly confirmed” devout and faithful new “ohana” members of our Cathedral who were chrismated on Holy Saturday, April 7th: Tracy (Alexandra) Boval, Kamal (Mercurius) and Ginger (Mary) Abadir. We are so blessed to have them! I look forward to another upcoming Chrismation very soon, and the spiritual formation of several new Catechumens who are making their journey on the road towards Orthodoxy!
The Holy Spirit is at work! I pray that the Holy Spirit fills this very community of our faithful and illumines and enlightens each and every one of our hearts and souls!
Being that we are coming to the Celebration of Holy Pentecost, the Coming of the Holy Spirit, I would like to share with you great pearls of wisdom from a few of the Holy Fathers, namely St. Gregory Dialogos and St. Gregory Palamas on this Great Feast. St Gregory Dialogos tells us: “‘And my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him’ [John 14.23]. My friends, consider the greatness of this solemn feast that commemorates God’s coming as a guest into our hearts! If some rich and influential friend were to come to your home, you would promptly put it all in order for fear something there might offend your friend’s eyes when he came in. Let all of us then who are preparing our inner homes for God cleanse them of anything our wrongdoing has brought into them.”
+ St. Gregory Dialogos, on Pentecost in Be Friends of God
And St. Gregory Palamas, with an emphasis on Apostolic Succession, offers us this: “If from one burning lamp someone lights another, then another from that one, and so on in succession, he has light continuously. In the same way, through the Apostles ordaining their successors, and these successors ordaining others, and so on, the grace of the Holy Spirit is handed down through all generations and enlightens all who obey their shepherds and teachers.”
+ St. Gregory Palamas, “On how the Holy Spirit was manifested and shared out at Pentecost”
The Holy Spirit, throughout the Centuries and up until today, is continuously filling our lives as Christians and the Church with God’s continual Presence. We each are important members of the Body of Christ, His Church, and we must make sure that we make room for the Holy Spirit to enter our own hearts and lives and to share the Grace of the Spirit with all those who we come in contact with throughout our lives. Just as a large jigsaw puzzle has many pieces, each piece being important, so are each one of us as individual pieces/members in God’s Divine Plan.
As members of our Saints Constantine Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Pacific, we have the awesome responsibility to share the Grace of the Holy Spirit with one another and the world around us, which means that with the array of variety of God-given gifts and talents given to every one of us, we each play an important role in each other’s enlightenment and salvation. One simple analogy: We had many leftover palm branches in the Social hall on Palm Sunday. When each shared in removing them, their removal went efficiently and smoothly. So it is with God’s work!
THE GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BE WITH ALL OF YOU!
With Love in Christ,