April 2024 English Newsletter Posted May 23, 2024 by admin


My Beloved the benevolent                             April 2024

Grace and peace, wishing all goodness and blessings

 The period of Great Lent is a spiritual period in which we raise our hearts to our good Lord, who fasted for us forty days and forty nights, to grant us a period of blessed and holy fasting, acceptable to Him. During the period of Lent, we remember our needy brothers everywhere, especially in our beloved country, Egypt. The current economic crisis has affected the lives of many needy families. The monthly income to cover the basic needs of a family has recently risen significantly. We thank God who works in the hearts of many members of the Church who love to contribute to the programs of Santa Verena Charity, especially the program to adopt a needy Christian family in Egypt through our Christian Family Sponsorship program.  The generous gifts of our beloved members enabled Santa Verena Charity to provide regular monthly assistance to thousands of needy families in Egypt.

I invite you all to provide additional support as we are approaching the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection, so that we can provide every family with additional assistance during this time. The high price of meat has made some churches unable to provide meat for the Feast to needy families; especially since, for many of these families, the Feast is the only time of the year that they will eat meat. Therefore, we want to present an invitation for an additional contribution that enables all families to participate in the spiritual celebration of the Feast, as well as the celebration of the Feast meal. I ask everyone who is encouraged to contribute to these Feast meals to indicate “Easter Blessings” on their donation.

 I would like to meditate with you on two miracles that Jesus Christ performed which are mentioned on the fifth and the sixth Sundays of the Great Lent. They are the Sunday of the Paralyzed Man, where Jesus Christ healed the man who had been sick for 38 years and was trying to get healing from the Pool of Bethesda but was unable. The second miracle is the Healing of the Man Born Blind. My meditation focuses on one common aspect of the two miracles, which is the integrated service to a person in need.

 In the miracle of Healing the Paralyzed of Bethesda , it is clear that his need is to heal from his illness, which prompted him to come to the pool of Bethesda and lie down with the other sick people, waiting for the angel to descend and move the water and enter the water to obtain healing; but he failed to get healed because as he said to Christ, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” John 5:7 Jesus answered him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk. And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.” John 5:8-9 Jesus’ work with this sick man did not end with his healing, for he indeed received physical healing, but he needed another healing. Therefore, Christ was interested in looking for him afterwards and seeing him again and saying to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest worse thing come upon you.” John 5:14 This man was apparently only in need of physical healing, but Christ, who knows the secrets of the hearts, saw that he was in need of a more important healing, which is healing the soul from sin; so, He met him and warned him against returning to the path of sin, lest there be more evil in store for him.

In the story of the healing of the Man Born Blind, Christ healed him and restored his sight, but Christ saw that this person needs more than physical sight, that he needed spiritual insight and spiritual enlightenment. Jesus met him again after his recovery and asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” And he said, “Lord, I believe!” and he worshiped Him” John 9:35-38

Our good Lord teaches us that man is one fully integrated unit, and man’s needs are interconnected. Indeed, there may be separate categories such as spiritual, economic, social, and psychological needs, but reality proves to us an important fact: that human needs are interrelated. A person may be spiritually tired because of an economic or social problem. Spiritual weakness also affects a person’s social life in his dealings with others and may affect his work as well. Our good Lord teaches us to serve those in need in an integrated ministry. Indeed, the purpose of the Church is to fully bring every human being to Christ Jesus, but in her ministry, she must be concerned with the spiritual, social, and economic aspects.

The early church provides us with a model of integrated service; it expressed the life of fellowship in faith in fellowship also in daily life. The book of Acts says, “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: 34-35 And the book of Acts tells us about the service of the tables, where the apostles established the order of the deacon; hence, the name diakonia came to mean the perfect ministry which is concerned with the needs of man as a whole.

May our good Lord grant us to serve the needy in an integrated service that cares for all their needs.

May the Lord bless your gifts to support Santa Verena Charity programs that provide an integrated service to those in need.

Metropolitan Sarapion