This email is being sent from my private email address. Unfortunately, the church’s telephone line together with the Internet and hence the capacity to send emails has not been available for five days now due to it being cut by the building to house Saint Basil’s being currently undertaken. Hopefully, we will be reconnected soon. I had a similar situation several weeks ago and had to resend the email. If I receive feedback that the email has not been received and I will re-send it.… Sorry for the hassle… Anyway, here goes…
- Today’s gospel (Matthew 5:14 – 19) is one of those didactic pericopes that bears great scrutiny. The disciples are called the light of the world. What does Christ mean by this? Clearly, they cannot generate light themselves because Christ is the light. So, they must reflect the light of Christ and by reflecting the light in as pure a form as they can, they then themselves become light.
- So what is the reference to light? Light is provided so we can see the way to Christ through good works. As Christ said: “let your light so shine before men so they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” The purpose of light is to lead us to giving glory to God and we manifest goodness to our fellow man in the name of the Father.
- Make no mistake it must be in the name of the Father. If it is not then we are achieving good works in our own name and in our own glory. Works so done are not works in the name of the Father. If we give glory to God then what we are acknowledging is that our capacity to carry out good works has been given to us by God at first instance. Whereas if we think we have done them ourselves then we are instilling pride in ourselves which can only separate us from the father.
- So, through good works God is glorified. If God is glorified then we are fulfilling the purpose of our existence. Our existence is not about surviving or even personal flourishing. It is about loving God and the only true and meaningful way one can love God is to love neighbour. After all, is that not why Christ voluntarily went to the cross so that you and me can be saved?
Around our church
- The program for this week is as follows: Tuesday 6: 45 p.m. – 7: 30 p.m. adult education continued (this week will be looking at Abraham); Wednesday 17th Saint Marina: matins from 730 a.m.; Saturday the prophet Elijah matins from 730 a.m. followed by divine liturgy in English from nine a.m. to 1015 a.m.; Saturday four p.m. Vespers.
- We have received the blessing of his Eminence to build our hall. This will be a building serving many purposes including a community hub. We propose to move as quickly as we can to achieve this. We are the only church that has no place where our people can gather out of the rain. The hall will be of sufficient size to cater for the educational, pastoral, social and religious needs of a mature parish. We thank his Eminence for this blessing.
- Our food store has run out of vegetable oil, olive oil, rice (both long grain and short grain), flour (general and self-raising) and tuna (large and medium tins. We are short on tinned chickpeas and other Middle Eastern tinned products. Please bear in mind that it is families that come seeking your assistance. So, when you shop for yourselves put a few purchases to one side as your gift offering. Let us remember: let your light so shine before men to the may see your good works and give glory to your father is in heaven. What better work is there than to feed your brother who is hungry.
Thought of the week
- Thought for the week: living in the joy of Christ is the best way to declare to the world our gratitude for all the things we have received – both material and immaterial. After all, the joy that is best is the joy that is shared with one another.
Till next time.
Father John Athanasiou 0411061554
PS: do not forget to listen to “the hour of Orthodoxy” on 6 EBA FM (95.3) each Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. live and repeated each Thursday 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.