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St Nektarios Parish Newsletter 08-04-19

Dear all.

Gospel reading

Yesterday’s gospel (Mark 9:14 – 30) is a call to examine our faith in Christ. We need strong faith as we walked towards Golgotha. Consider this: Christ lived, walked, talked, performed miracles, gave hope, taught and had contact with his disciples and all the people around him. No doubt there were those who had themselves been healed all who had heard or seen such marvellous works and yet Christ tells them: “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?”

This call of despair at the fickleness of our human nature has application to you and to me. Given that no modern hand has touched or no modern eye has seen or modern ear heard then how much more appropriate is the observation of Christ to us? Yes, indeed, we do lack faith. That is the tall and the short of it.

This scepticism which results in a lack of faith is part of the human condition. Consider the comment of the father seeking to have his son healed – he says to Christ “if you can do anything”. Even this father was faithless when beseeching Christ to help him. At least this father was honest when he said to Christ in anguish: “I believe; help my unbelief!”

Do you see how difficult it is to have faith? All Christians say that they believe – but the question is: in what? It doesn’t sound particularly sensible to modern ears to have reliance upon the unknown so we hold back and we ask in expectation of not receiving and when we don’t receive as we want, when we want, how we want, we say there is no God. There is your modern paradox: the less we believe, the less we expect to receive and the less we receive, the less again, we believe – with the upshot being we walk away from God. “O faithless generation… How long I might to bear with you?”

We may well profit from reading Hebrews, Chapter 11. All that cloud of witness from the old Testament was driven by faith that there was someone who would perfect them. That someone being Jesus Christ. If we hold onto anything, let it be this: that God loves us so much that his son came into this world to die for you and for me so that we might be saved. So, let us with resolve stand firmly on the side of Christ.

Around our church

Activities around our church are increasing with the approach of the Feast of Feasts:

  • the program for the church this week is as follows – Compline Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3:15 PM;
  • Compline for Thursday commences at 3:30 PM as I have a commitment to broadcast “The Hour of Orthodoxy” from 2 PM to 3 PM each Thursday. Note, that this program is repeated each Tuesday from 5 PM to 6 PM and if you have not done so, I would ask that you listen and I would value your feedback. Remember, spreading the word of God is the responsibility of each and every one of us;
  • The liturgy the pre-sanctified gifts Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 AM;
  • The Akathist hymn of the mother of God on Friday from 6:45 PM. Also note that immediately following the Akathist Fr Elpideos will be undertaking a vigil at our church;.
  • The Divine liturgy on Saturday will be in English only commencing 9 AM;
  • Bible study on Tuesday from 6:45pm;
  • There will be Choir practice on Sunday after church, the 14thof April . If you think you have a singing voice, or, just want to join in please attend the practice. All are welcome.
  • There is a busy bee tomorrow, Tuesday, 9 April from 8 AM to 11 AM. We will spend three hours tidying up the church in the garden in preparation for Pascha
  • Our food store needs pasta, tinned vegetables, biscuits, tea, coffee, milk(long life), toilet paper, jam, rice and tinned fish (sardines, tuna etc). This mission to assist those in need, is the mission of each one of us. Let us all help to the best of our ability;
  • On Friday, 19 April we will be making crosses for palm Sunday. All are welcome.

Thought of the week

Why is it that we have unquestioning and embracing faith in technology but resist faith in Christ? Perhaps it may be because we are uplifted by the idea that we created technology and technology thus becomes our creature. With that in mind it becomes difficult to consider a belief in God because that belief no longer makes us masters of our own destiny but rather creatures of another more powerful than us – and that is something that we do not countenance.

Till next time.

In Christ.

Father John Athanasiou 0411 061 554