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St Nektarios Parish Newsletter 05-08-19

Dear all.

Gospel reading

  • Yesterday’s gospel (Matthew 9:27 – 35) is predicated upon the question asked by Christ to the two blind men: “do you believe that I’m able to do this?” Their answer? “Yes Lord.” Embedded in this exchange is the question of faith. For indeed Christ says to them: “according to your faith it be done to you.”
  • So the question posed to each and every one of us is: do we have faith?. Before we get to faith we need to traverse an area which some people find particularly difficult. That area is the question of prayer. As a simple principle: you cannot have faith without prayer. Prayer is the medium and the message. Without prayer we can have no faith.
  • The reason why prayer is difficult is because we generally misunderstand it. We think that we initiate it. Not so! All faith comes from God. It is a gift and calling. God calls each and every one of us. Our prayer is no more than a response to that calling. Unless we stop and listen to the voice of God then how can we meaningfully respond? To be sure we can get down on our knees and offer words. But unless we believe that those words of ours are heard then it is a waste of time. Our words can only be heard if God knows us or, more in point, we have let ourselves be known to God.
  • Let me put it this way. God is the radio station constantly transmitting His love for you and me. We are the receiver of that transmission. Notice, the transmission is different in kind to the radio station. We can receive the transmission without ever knowing the radio station. Our focus is on the transmission. The question is have we turned on our receivers on? And the name of that transmission – why, Christ himself. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Around our church

  • The program for this week is as follows: this afternoon at 3:15 PM Vespers for the Transfiguration; tomorrow (Tuesday) Transfiguration of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ from 7:30 AM (fish allowed) Supplicatory Canon 3 PM; Wednesday, Thursday and Friday supplication Canon from 3:15 PM; Saturday morning divine liturgy in English 9 AM to 10:15 AM.
  • if you wish to have a lengthy explanation of the coming Sunday’s epistle and gospel reading do not forget to tune in to 6 EBA FM (95.3 MHz) on Tuesday from 2 PM to 3 PM, repeated on Thursdays from 5 PM to 6 PM; also on Fridays I do a segment in Greek on the coming Sunday gospel on our church radio program between 7 PM to 8 PM.

  • There is adult Bible class tomorrow evening at 6:45 PM when we continue to meet some of the fascinating and people of the old Testament and their significance to us Christians.

Thought of the week

This week from one of my favourites: Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes jnr, an American jurist (1841 – 1935 (US Supreme Court Justice from 1902 – 1931, retiring from the bench when he was 90 years of age): “I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: to reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” Who says you cannot get the truth from a lawyer!.

Until next time.

In Christ.

Father John Athanasiou 0411 061 554

PS: I am taking leave from the evening of the 15 August to 13 September. My last service before I go on leave is to celebrate the feast day of the Kimisis of the Mother of God. Father Theo will be in attendance at church services whilst I am away. If you need me you can SMS me and I will endeavour to contact you.