June 2024 English Newsletter Posted May 24, 2024 by admin


My Beloved the Benevolent                                        June 2024

Xhristos Anesti      Alisos Anesti

Christ is Risen     Truly He is Risen

I am pleased to wish you a blessed and joyful period of the Holy Fifty in which we celebrate daily the Resurrection of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. On Sunday June 23rd this year, we will celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, and our celebration of the Resurrection will move to Sunday, especially since our Church has arranged that the Matins Gospel will always be about the Resurrection until the beginning of the month of Kiahk. The first hour prayer of the Agpeya, with which we begin the day, reminds us also of the glorious Resurrection.

In this letter, I would like to contemplate with you some aspects of the glorious Resurrection.

1. The Resurrection is Joy: We celebrate the Resurrection with the joyful tune throughout the period of the Holy Fifty days, even at funerals. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ declared victory over death through His resurrection and bestowed upon us freedom from the bondage of death, sin, and corruption, and granted us eternal life. We praise in the melody of the Resurrection, “trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life”. The events of the Church also show us how the sorrow and fear of the disciples, while in the upper room and the doors were closed, turned into great joy when the Lord Jesus appeared to them, “Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.” John 20:19-20

The two disciples of Emmaus were in great sorrow, but when the Lord Jesus met them and they recognized Him at the breaking of the bread, their sorrow turned into joy, and they returned to Jerusalem to tell the disciples. Mary Magdalene was also at the tomb crying, thinking that the Lord’s body had been stolen, but when He said to her “Mary” and she knew Him, she joyfully returned to tell the disciples.

2. The Resurrection is Faith: The disciples did not believe in the Resurrection; St. Luke describes in detail the first appearance of Christ to His disciples after the Resurrection, “Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in their midst of them, and said to them, ‘Peace to you.’ But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them,Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, ‘Have you any food here?’ So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.  And He took it and ate in their presence.” Luke 24:36-43

Thomas the Apostle was not with them when the others saw the Lord, so in order to believe the Resurrection, he said to his brethren, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” John 20:25 So the Lord Jesus appeared again to the disciples after eight days and Thomas was with them and He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be an unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him,Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:27-29. Jesus provided His disciples with the physical evidence of His Resurrection because they would face severe persecution for witnessing to the Resurrection of Christ. As for us, we are blessed to believe without having to see. Belief in the Resurrection is the cornerstone of the Christian faith.

3. The Resurrection is a Consolation: The Church consoles its children on the departure of their loved ones through the Resurrection; whether in the funeral rites, the third day prayer, or the commemoration of the forty days. The Church relies on this in the fifteenth chapter of the First Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, which we call the chapter of the Resurrection; also, what he said to console the Thessalonians in his First Epistle, “But I do not want you to be ignorant brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” 1Thess. 4:13-14

4. The Resurrection is looking towards Heaven: St. Paul said to the Colossians, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossi 3:1-2

The Resurrection invites us to think about heaven and storing up treasures for ourselves in heaven by helping our needy and suffering brothers, that we may have a share with those at the right hand of the Lord on the day of judgment and inherit with them the kingdom of heaven.

May the Lord bless your gifts to support Santa Verena’s charitable programs.

Metropolitan Serapion