Dear Parish Family and Friends,
When Nicholas was much younger he had great difficulty with change. Any time we were going to start a new game or transition to something different he would have a fit. We would have to prepare him by talking to him, in advance, so he was prepared for the change. I think many of us can relate to this. Change can most certainly be a difficult process. This process can be made even more difficult when his ”change” is unexpected. Although change can be difficult it is very much part of our faith. Our faith is not only about change but our Lord teaches how to go through change as well.
In the middle of our Lenten journey the Church offers us the Cross of our Lord to gaze upon. The Cross reminds us of many things. It reminds us of God’s love, Christ’s victory over sin, evil, and death. It reminds us of the positive changes that can happen to us through Christ’s death on the Cross and resurrection from the dead. It reminds us to follow and draw strength from Christ who wants us to come to Him. This notion of change is not foreign to our beloved Cathedral. Three months ago our parish changed dramatically with the loss of our beloved Father Chris. For many of you this might be the first time you are going through Lent, Holy Week, and Easter without him. This will be the first time in a long time that we do not hear Father’s familiar cadence as he reads the paschal homily of St. John Chrysostom. Our parish is in a time of change. The changes that are happening can bring about feelings of sadness and anxiety. This is why it is even more important for us, this year, to look upon the Cross of Christ. This Cross will give us strength. It will give us strength because it reminds us of our Lord’s great love for us. He willingly ascended upon that Cross for us. When he did, He gave us the potential to grow closer to him and to change, in a positive way.
My friends and family, the cross is a lesson for us. A lesson of how we will get through our first Lent without Father Chris. A lesson as to how we will deal with all the changes that come up. This lesson is one of Love. St. John the Evangelist in his first letter writes, ”My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” The Cross is a sign of God’s love for us in deed and truth. All of us are called to do the same, to love God and one another with all the gifts, talents, and faults that we may have. This is the true measure of what it means to be a Church. May our Lord bless you through Lent and grant you a glorious Pascha.