Happy Name Day to our Beloved Cathedral!
My Dear Spiritual Ohana,
Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
We begin the month of May with the continuance of the Paschal Season, and end up the month with celebration of Holy Pentecost on May 31st.
I would like to thank all of you for helping to make Holy Week and Pascha a most memorable time of the year! To our dedicated chanters and readers especially Greg and Alice Malick, Aleksey Kennedy and Maria Naval, our Parish Council Members, our Choirs, our Altar Servers, our Myrhh-bearers, Georgia Manos the mastermind behind the decorating of the Tomb, our Philoptochos, our generous contributors toward all of our Holy Week needs and all our dear Faithful: I thank you for your dedication and wish you utmost joy as we experience God’s Immeasurable Love in that in the Person of Christ our worst enemy “Death” is ultimately defeated! These celebrations do not merely remember historical events in the life of Christ, but bring us to experience the presence of Christ in the present, today! The Holy Spirit enlightens us with the experience of God through His Energies in every age and time. It is not by chance that we speak in the present tense when we greet each other with: “Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!” It is done deliberately! For we experience the Love and the Glory of God in the “now!”
With regards to the celebration of Holy Pentecost, we also remain in the “now.” If we only see the coming of the Holy Spirit, almost 2,000 years ago as an historic event, we miss the point of the celebration’s essence and meaning. The Holy Spirit comes upon us today. In fact, every time we have a Sacrament (Holy Mystery): Baptism, Chrismation, Confession, Marriage, Holy Unction, Ordination, etc., the Holy Spirit comes upon us. Note also, that we celebrate a Pentecost each and every time we celebrate the Divine Liturgy, especially at the Consecration of the Holy Gifts when the clergy invoke the Holy Spirit saying: “And make this bread the Precious Body of Your Christ...And that which is in this cup the Precious Blood of Your Christ...Changing them by the Holy Spirit. Amen. Amen. Amen.” In other words, our Orthodox Christian Faith is not dead and devoid of the Holy Spirit, but is very much alive in a very real way!
The following quote from St. Justin Popovich speaks clearly of what Pentecost is. He says: “The holy mystery of the day of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost, is to be understood in the following manner: the spirit of man must be completed and perfected by the Holy Spirit, that is, it must be sanctified, illuminated, and divinized by the Holy Spirit. This holy mystery is realized continually in the Church of Christ and because of this the Church is really a continuous Pentecost...from Holy Pentecost, the day of the Holy Spirit, every God-like soul in the Church of Christ is an incombustible bush which continuously burns and is inflamed with God and has a fiery tongue within it.”
May the All-Holy Spirit enlighten and illumine all of us!
With Love in Christ,