Pastoral Message from the October Beacon
Dear Parishioners of our Beloved Assumption,
“For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience that we have behaved in the world, and still more toward you, with holiness and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God.” (RSV 2 Corinthians 1:12)
A time, not so long ago, the faithful of the Orthodox Church relied on God, first and foremost, and then on their talents and abilities, which they also recognized as God-given. Today, the opposite is true. Most now rely on themselves and when things get too rough, then they call on God. They believe that they have all the answers within themselves and don’t even think about God until they have exhausted all other options. Their expectation is that God will listen and respond to every supplication regardless of the sincerity of their belief or depth of faith. This must be how in the last minute of a football game, the very long end-zone pass became known as the “Hail Mary.”
How do we face the challenges in our lives that will inevitably be placed before us? For the Lord tells us that we will be constantly harassed by Satan just as we shall harass him: “he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." (RSV Genesis 3:15) How we choose to face our challenges is what defines our character. Do we have faith in God that He will provide us with all that we need? For as Christ said, “ Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (RSV Matthew 6:26). Or do we try to depend on our “earthly wisdom” without relying on the Lord or simply try and run away. Unfortunately, we can try and avoid the challenges that are before us, but they remain with us and reappear in the form of our imperfection until we allow them to be perfected in our faith.
We must understand that our faith in God is not an answer, it is the answer!
Thanking the Lord for His Blessings on us, I remain, in His Service,
Rev. Father Jon Boukis