Yesterday’s gospel reading (Luke 7:11 – 16) of the return of the only son to the widow of Nain demonstrates a very practical aspect to the love that Christ has for us. It should be remembered in those times that women – and especially widows – were vulnerable to the vagaries of the times. Simply put, a woman needed a male to take responsibility for her – and this woman had no male in her life – hence she was lost.
You will recall when Jesus was on the cross, almost with his dying breath, he said to his mother who was lamenting together with the disciple whom he loved: “woman, behold thy son”. Then he said to the disciple: “behold, your mother!”. We are then told that from that hour the disciple took her to his own home and under his protection. Jesus saw and took care of a practical need for his mother.
Our Christian faith is not nebulous nor is it designed to give us a “warm and fuzzy feeling”. Our faith is geared towards practical salvation. As the Epistle of St James reminds us that faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. Indeed the parable of the talents reminds us that we need to actively work for our fellow human being. If we are still uncertain as to whether works in the name of Christ or whether faith in the name of Christ is more important, then the parable the second coming emphatically settles that matter in favour of action.
What motivates our work in Christ must be compassion. Christ himself says to this widow: “do not weep”. Whenever we see the other and their need we must first establish our common humanity. We do that through empathy. This opens the gateway to the heart and makes real the truism “and as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them”. By returning the widow’s son back to the widow Christ returns to her not only a son but a means of life that was otherwise taken away. No one wants to be “voiceless and invisible”. Through faith in Christ we are made into authentic citizens not only of this world but also of the next.
Wednesday 11th October
6 PM to 8 PM – Visit by Fr. Themi
Saturday 14th October
8 AM to 9 AM – Matins in Greek (with Fr. Themi)
9 AM to 10:15 AM – Divine Liturgy in English (with Fr. Themi)
Sunday 15th October
8 AM to 11 AM – Matins and Divine Liturgy
On Wednesday evening between 6 PM to 8 PM our parish will be hosting Father Themi. All are welcome. May you please bring a plate so we can all share in a common meal afterwards
Our ticket sales for the raffle have slowed down. It would be great if you could consider purchasing tickets as the benefit from the sale the tickets will go directly into the improvements of the church. Please contact me for tickets.
A special thank you to Mark Peddey for not only his ongoing work in maintaining our lawn but also in beginning some earthworks towards building our new shed. This will allow us to realise our goal of commencing our food distribution programme for the needy. I, like everyone else, will give account for my actions sooner or later before the dread judgement seat of Christ. I suspect that Christ will be more interested in the quality of my works in his name rather than in the quality of my prayer. Hence you can understand why I wish to get this program moving – and moving sooner rather than later.
How people treat you judges them – how are you react to them judges you! Do not let your reaction to others force you on their path. Be true to yours and who knows, just perhaps, you may convert them and thereby place them on the better way toward salvation.
Till next week.
Father John Athanasiou – 0411 061 554