Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Blessings in the New Year!
Saint James reminds us that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17 – we also hear these words at the end of every Liturgy in the “Prayer before the Ambo”). The past twelve months have had their challenges and difficulties, as well as their blessings rewards. But we have received everything as a blessing from God and as an opportunity to grow in faith, hope, and love. As we now enter the Year of Our Lord 2022, we all look forward to a year at Saints Peter and Paul Church that already promises to be filled with heavenly blessings for us all. As we enter this New Year, may the Lord, who teaches us “to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom” (Psalm 90: 42), bless you all with peace, prosperity, good health, and all that is necessary for salvation!
The Feast of the Nativity and the Feast of the Theophany, which we just celebrated, help us to remember that Christ took on our human flesh in the womb of the Most Pure Theotokos, was born as one of us in the cave of Bethlehem, and that He revealed Himself to us on the bank of the River Jordan. These feasts remind us that God came to unite Himself to us and that “GOD IS WITH US,” remaining ever present in our lives as He continues to work within us through the action of the Holy Spirit. We, in our turn, become His presence in the midst of the world as we seek to sanctify the world through our own lives of holiness, service, and sacrifice.
May this New Year provide us with bountiful opportunities to bless the world with the presence of Christ. Let us pray for one another as each one of us seeks the “blessings from above” and as we all strive to make 2022 another year in which we reach out to the world in the Name of Christ.
With love in the Lord Who reveals Himself,
Saturday: Vespers, 5:00 pm
Sunday: Divine Liturgy, 9:00 am
1614 E. Monte Vista Rd.
Phoenix, Az 85006