Dear Parish Family and Friends,

Christ is Risen!

As I write this letter it is 35 degrees outside. It snowed the day before and there is an inch of snow coming tonight and into tomorrow. I can assure you that l am certainly waiting for something. I am waiting for a thaw. I am looking forward to spring like weather to come to Toledo. When the weather finally breaks and May comes, our children will be looking forward to their summer vacation. As a community, we will begin to wind down for the summer. Many of our groups are looking forward to the end of the year events. A question we could ask is, do we consider what this means with regard to our faith? What is it that we should be waiting for? What is that we are looking forward to, or working toward as Orthodox Christians?

Father Ari wrote a book titled “Daily Reflections from Pascha to Pentecost: Keeping the Light Burning”. In his book he reflects on Joseph of Arimathea who is commemorated on the third Sunday after Easter. Father begins with, “Joseph of Arimathea was looking forward to the kingdom. The question then for us, is, what are we looking forward to? This is an important question because by answering that question we set ourselves on a course of living a life centered on Christ. Take a look at Joseph. The Gospel of Mark says, “Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.” This act of Joseph was a brave one. Remember all of the others were hiding. Joseph, though, “took courage” and asked for the body of Jesus. He was looking forward to the kingdom and his actions showed it. He was waiting for the kingdom and his actions showed it. Are we too looking forward to the kingdom? Are we looking forward to meeting our Lord? Are we looking forward to a deeper relationship with Him? If the answer is yes, then we are set on a course of living a life focused on that relationship. Then like Joseph, we will do things that reflect that desire.

As we continue our journey of receiving each other and our Risen Lord. Let us remember that we must look forward to a fuller relationship with both Christ and one another. The only way to receive that is for our actions to show who we follow. For our actions to show that like Joseph, we are looking forward to the kingdom.

Truly He is Risen!

In Christ,

Father Larry