Dear Parish Family and Friends,
Christ is Risen!
As I write this letter to you we have celebrated the great feast of Pascha. We have gone through another Great Lent and Holy Week together and have received our Risen Lord. I thank all of you for helping to make this another wonderful and uplifting celebration. Because of you, your presence at the services, all the work you put into to getting ready for Holy Week and Pascha, your love and support for one another, we are better able to receive that which our Lord has to offer. What is He offering? A sense of peace.
After the Resurrection the disciples were scared. All of them had gone into hiding. The scriptures tells us that they were together in the upper room. While there the Lord appeared to them. “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them: ‘Peace be with you.’” This is a common expression in the Middle East. But our Lord offers it differently. This is why in another scripture He says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you”. The world’s peace is, at times, empty. It does not satisfy or sustain us in times of trouble. But the peace our Lord gives does. Someone once wrote, “With Christ it is otherwise. He gives what He truly has. His peace is the peace of the Victor whose victory is complete. His peace is therefore joy, courage, health, tranquility, and strength.” My friends and my family this is the peace the Apostles received after the Resurrection. This is the peace that gave them joy in time of trouble. This is the peace that gave them strength and courage when times were difficult. This same peace is given to each of us if we open ourselves to it.
As we begin to enter into the summer months I pray we remember that on the glorious day of Pascha we, like the disciples, received the same Lord as they did. We, like the Apostles, received the same peace that they did. Let us hold on it to in times of trouble and joy. Let us hold on to it so others can see it and give glory to God.