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St Nektarios Parish Newsletter 20-05-19

Dear all.

Christ is risen!

Gospel reading

  • Yesterday’s gospel reading of the paralytic (John 5:1 – 15) is particularly instructive to us today. “Do you want to be made well?” Is the question posed by Christ to the paralytic. Given that Bethesda was renowned as a place of healing and further given that this person had been there for 38 years patiently awaiting for healing the question may have been considered as derisory. After all, why would he be there if he had not sought healing?
  • But, the question is: what sort of healing? The paralytic only thought of his physical limitation hence he responded as he did. Simply put, he had no one to put him in the water and someone else would enter before him. He was for 38 years perpetually second. To this man healing was of his body. But, is that the healing that Christ was talking about?
  • If one considers that Christ said to this healed person at the temple: “see, you are made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you” one can understand that the healing of Christ was talking about was something different. One can now see that the question initially posed by Christ went far deeper and to something more eternal than what this paralytic assumed it to be.
  • Christ was talking about spiritual healing. It is spiritual healing which is eternal. It is the body, even if it is healed that will wear away and return back to the earth whereas the soul that abides forever. Put it another way: it is better to say that we are a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul. To be sure the body is profoundly important because on the final day of judgement all bodies will rise and be reunited with the soul. But, that said we know that the body, unlike the soul, will go undergo change. One only has to read the resurrection Gospels or Paul’s letter to the Corinthians to understand this to be so.
  • If there is a practical lesson it is surely this: before we hasten to make a decision let us pause and reflect upon our choices and select that which aids us in our perpetual quest in this lifetime to attain the Kingdom of Heaven.

Around our church

The program for this week is as follows – this evening (Monday 6 PM) Vespers for the feast day of St Constantine and Helene; tomorrow Tuesday divine Patronal liturgy at St Constantine and Helene from 8 AM; Wednesday at this church (St Nektarios) mid Pentecost from 7:30 AM; Saturday divine liturgy in English at this church from 9 AM.

There has been a program change in the “Hour of Orthodoxy”. Now the program will be ” live to air” from 5 PM to 6 PM Tuesday and repeated on Thursday between 2 PM to 3 PM. You can hear the program on 6 EBA FM (95.3 on the FM scale). I give an extensive exegesis on the coming Sunday gospel for your consideration and edification.

Our food store has ample supplies of clothing and footwear. Please do not bring any more until further notice. Food is always welcome.

Thought of the week

Spiritual striving leads to spiritual growth. Spiritual growth flows back into and re invigorates spiritual striving. It is in this way that we grow in love to Christ. It is this way that we understand that Christ is all in all. Without Christ we have nothing. With Christ we have all things.

Till next time.

In Christ.

Father John Athanasiou 0411 061 554