Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Glory to Jesus Christ!
On the recent Feast of Holy Pentecost, we heard from the Acts of the Apostles and listened to its story of the beginning of the Church’s public preaching ministry. Having received the Holy Spirit, Saint Peter preached the Church’s first public sermon, preaching to those who had gathered from throughout the known world and proclaiming all that God had accomplished in and through His Son, Jesus. In Acts we also see that, with the beginning of the work of preaching the Gospel “to the ends of the universe,” the Church began to form into communities as people by the thousands were called to follow the Way of Jesus Christ. (read Acts 2.)
After first describing the Apostles’ post-Resurrection encounters with the Risen Lord and the awesome events of Pentecost, the Book of Acts goes on to also describe the form of life lived by those first Christians. Saint Luke, the author of Acts, presents the Church of Jerusalem, gathered in response to the Apostles’ preaching, as the paradigm and model of all Christian communities. Saint Luke tells us that, as brothers and sisters in Christ, the first believers “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). Here we see that Saint Luke portrays a community united in prayer, fraternity, charity and concern for those in need.
In every age, the Church has been called to live that paradigm and through its life of prayer and charity to be the light, salt, and leaven of humanity and to be a foreshadowing of a world of authentic justice and peace. In this way, the Church is enabled to live an authentic life based on its common prayer in the Liturgy, experiencing the Risen Lord’s presence in prayer and in the Eucharist, in order then to bring that saving love to the world. As we continue our shared sojourn on earth, we pray that our parish community, like the early Church gathered around the Apostles, may increasingly become a place where we experience deep prayer, encounter the Lord in His Word and in the celebration of the Sacred Mysteries, and remain a safe haven of peaceful and loving fellowship with our brothers and sisters. May our “house” have doors that welcome the world to join in our journey so that we may all one day be part of the communion (and community) of the saints and the heavenly Jerusalem.
Praying that all of you will have a safe and enjoyable summer and that all your summer journeys will be blessed,
With love in the Lord,
Saturday: Vespers, 5:00 pm
Sunday: Divine Liturgy, 9:00 am
1614 E. Monte Vista Rd.
Phoenix, Az 85006