May at St. John's...................

Apr 26, 2022
May at St. John's...................

The Great Journey to Pascha began with the Sunday of Zacchaeus and his desire to see Christ; and continued with The Publican and the Pharisee with a test of Humility; the Prodigal Son, a lesson in reconciliation; the Last Judgment and the Sunday of Forgiveness when we kissed each other in love and forgiveness. We travelled through the Sunday of Orthodoxy and the raising up of the Icons. We heard about St. Gregory Palamas and his method of prayer for the Hesychast monks that allowed them to participate in God’s love. We bowed down before the Cross of Christ and sang “Behold! Through the Cross joy has come into all the world.” We learned “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” from St. John Climacus who outlined the steps essential for attaining communion with God. We listened to the life of St. Mary of Egypt who having recognized her sinfulness, sought to bring about an essential change in her life. On Palm Sunday we gave out willows and palms as a reminder of Jesus who rode into Jerusalem after raising up Lazarus from death. Silently and sorrowfully we heard of the betrayal, judging and passion of the Son of God and cried as He whispered, “It is finished.” And then, on Pascha, with joy, we worshiped Our Christ Jesus and celebrated His Resurrection and cried aloud, “Christ is Risen!; Indeed He is Risen!” How fortunate we are to have the chance to experience this spiritual and poignant season. And so we pray: “We, unworthy recipients of Thy benefits and gifts, as unprofitable servants dare to turn to Thee, O Master, bringing Thee thanks, and glorifying and hymning Thee, the Benefactor and Creator: Glory to Thee, O most bountiful God.”


On Pascha, April 24, 2022, we lovingly welcomed our dear Vladika, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, Bishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. We also warmly welcomed all visitors and friends of our parish. We sincerely thank you all for joining us in prayer on Paschal Sunday morning. May God grant all of you good health and joy for Many Years! We are the children of a God who refuses, as Saint Basil’s prayer says, to “turn His face away from His creatures forever.” No matter what we do, He will never forget us, because we are “the work of His hands.” His love is so great, His determination not to let us perish is so absolute, that He will do anything for us. On the day of Pascha we celebrated that love and the eternal life it brings us.


Sunday, May 1 is dedicated to Saint Thomas who needed reassurance of Jesus’ Resurrection by touching His side and His hands and feeling His wounds. Eight days following the Resurrection, Jesus lovingly tells Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” He further states to Thomas, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (NKJV John 20:26-29) A beautiful message to all of us.  


The blessing of graves at East Ridgelawn Cemetery will be held on St. Thomas Sunday, May 1. The blessing will start with Panikhida at the cemetery chapel at 1:30 p.m. For St. Peter’s and other cemeteries please make an appointment with Father Maryan. If you have family members that are buried far away and you are not able to visit their graves, you can submit their names for commemoration at the time of blessing.


Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating their birthday in May. The following are included in the May celebrants: Marion Nagel on May 3; Jennifer Czech on May 15; and Richard Paul Rahnefeld on May 27. May God grant them all Many Years!


Helen Baron, our Food Pantry Coordinator thanks everyone for their generous donations to the Food Pantry. In these difficult and challenging times of inflation and food supply conditions, it is important to remember those who are in need. Your help for those less fortunate is greatly appreciated by those who are helped.

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February 2024