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June 2018 English Newsletter | Santa Verena Charity

June 2018 English Newsletter Posted June 7, 2018 by admin

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My Beloved the Benevolent                                                                                          June 2018

 

Grace and peace wishing every goodness and blessing

I would like to congratulate you on the Apostles’ Fast, asking our Good Lord for a blessed and accepted fast. The Apostles’ Fast reminds us of the Early Church and the ideal model that the ministry of our fathers, the apostles, offered to us as an example and the standard for the successful service.

Among the important areas that the apostles focused on, was serving the needy, “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” (Acts 4:32-35)

We notice the following:

  1. Serving the needy was not just an additional social service but was a practical expression of the church as the body of Christ, one body. Thus, the description began by expressing the oneness of the believers (Acts 4:32). How can the believers be of one heart and one spirit and not feel what the others are suffering? How can the body be one, if each member cared for only him or herself? Thus, St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians explaining the meaning of the one body and how the members should care for one another, “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” (1Cor.12:26)

 

  1. The link between ministering to the needy with witnessing to the Resurrection of Christ. The Resurrection of Christ granted power to the believers and in receiving the Holy Spirit, the church was established. For how can the apostles witness to the Resurrection of Christ powerfully, if they cannot care for the needy members of the body and vise versa? As the Book of Acts mentions, “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold.” (Acts 4:33-34) The success of the apostles was to care for the needy members, and although there was no one who was needy, this enabled them to witness to the Resurrection of Jesus with great power and enabled each to all receive great blessings.

The Resurrection of Christ made the believer care about storing up for themselves treasures in heaven, thus their perception of money and possessions was changed. The believers believed that they were stewards of the money and not owners, “…neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.” (Acts 4:32) The fathers, the apostles, offered an example of being free from caring for money, thus the book mentioned that the place for money was at the apostles’ feet, meaning that money is a servant, not a master.

  1. The Book of Acts shows us how to successfully minister to the needy, to the point that: “Nor was there anyone among them who lacked…” So how was that achieved? The Book of Acts answered this, “for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold. And laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” (Acts 4:34-35) And St. Paul offered to the Corinthians a system that he followed also with the Galatians for collection for the needy, whom he called saints, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also; On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collection when I come.” (1 Cor. 16:1-2)

 

  1. And finally, we note that the distribution to the needy was orderly and well thought out, “…and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” (Acts 4: 35)

 

May God grant us the spirit of the Early Church and her order in ministering to the needy and bless your offerings to support Santa Verena Charity programs.

 

Metropolitan Serapion