THE RESURRECTION OF
OUR LORD SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST
Christ if risen from the dead
By death He has trampled upon
And to those in the tombs
All Orthodox Christians know and chant with
enthusiasm the triumphant hymn of the Resurrection of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. The
icon of Christ’s descent into Hades is the visual expression of this
most beautiful hymn. Christ
is seen as the Life-giver as He tramples on the gates of Hades, taking
Adam and Eve by the hands raising them to life.
Through our Lord’s entrance into Hades,
death and sin have been vanquished.
The radiant halo that surrounds Him depicts the radiant energy of
His glorious Resurrection.
He fills the darkness of Hades with the brilliance of His light.
Standing upon the broken gates of the kingdom of Death, He demonstrates His victory over
sin and Death by His own Crucifixion and Resurrection.
This event reveals the promise to each of
us, that we too will be raised to enjoy the Divine Life in the Heavenly Kingdom.
In liberating our first parents, Christ also frees those who put
their faith in His coming.
This truth is seen in the presence of Kings, David and Solomon, vested
in royal robes and crowns.
The stand together with John the Baptist at Christ’s right.
Moses and the Prophets of the Old Testament stand at His left and
with the, all of humanity is raised.
At the midnight hour of May 5th, the night
of Pascha, the church is calm and dark.
The priest comes out from the Holy Altar inviting the faithful to
“…receive the light from the unwaning Light; and glorify Christ, Who is
risen from the dead.” We “enter into the joy of the Lord” and announce to the world: “It is
the Day of Resurrection: Let us be glorious in splendor for the
Festival, and let us embrace one another.
Let us speak also, O brethren, to those that hate us, and in the
Resurrection, let us forgive all things, and so let us cry: CHRIST IS
RISEN FROM THE DEAD AND BY HIS DEATH HE HAS TRAMPLED UPON DEATH AND TO
THOSE IN THE TOMBS HE BESTOWS LIFE!"
May the Resurrected Christ who is the source of true
joy and fulfillment fill your life with peace and spiritual joy always.
Peace and blessings,
MARCH PASTORAL MESSAGE
My brothers and sisters in Christ,
This month we usher in the blessed Lenten Season.
That great “feast of feasts” that awaits us at the end of Lent
can be a crowning moment in our lives spiritually if we properly prepare
to receive it. This is why
the Church has prescribed this holy forty-day period of Great Lent so
that we can properly prepare ourselves for the joy of the Resurrection.
The forty days are chosen that we can identify with the 40 years the
Jewish people wandered in the desert, fleeing from bondage and finding
freedom. Thus, our freedom
from the shackles of the devil’s influence in our lives when we receive
the triumphant Christ who liberates and shows us our full potential as
Christians, indeed, as children of God.
A friend and I were recently communicating about the times we live in.
He wisely shared how our world has become very focused on
doing (Nike: "Just do it!")
to the exclusion of thinking
and this is often to our detriment.
Great Lent affords us the opportunity to break free from that
selfishness, to examine ourselves and recognize our faults and
weaknesses. In doing so we
create a path to repentance and we reorient ourselves and our moral
compass to Godly living.
become immersed in Sacred Services throughout the weeks of Lent so that
we may approach, with courage, the Sacrament of Confession and with
"the fear of God, faith, and
love", Holy Communion.
By taking advantage of the many services you see in your Ecclesiastical
Calendar, the grace of the Holy Spirit will fill you with grace from
within so you may live joyful lives filled with love.
Let us follow the example of our Savior who fasted 40 days.
Fasting and abstinence humbles the body, cleanses the mind and
strengthens our resolve to be imitators of Christ.
In His Loving Service,
Rev. Father Christ Kontos,
Beloved Brothers and
Sisters in Christ:
As 2013 is now in full swing, I cannot help but give thanks to
our almighty God for His many blessings upon St. Luke's.
In the past year,
2012, I had the privilege, honor and pleasure to preside at the holy
sacrament of Baptism of thirty newborn parishioners of St. Luke; we pray
that God will continue to bless them and their young families.
We welcomed two adults into our rich Orthodox faith through the
holy sacrament of Chrismation.
Eleven couples received the sacrament of Matrimony; we wish them
spiritual joy and they begin their married life together.
Twenty servants of God fell asleep in the Lord and we offered
their funeral services at St. Luke; may their tender souls rest in peace
and may their memory be eternal.
Our parish is blessed
The leaders of ALL our groups are
God-fearing, pious Christians who offer their labors of love for the
benefit of Christ's Holy Church and you, the faithful.
The talent in this community provides a model that all parishes
of our Holy Archdiocese can imitate.
From our dedicated Parish Council representatives and Ladies of
Philoptochos, to the youngest of our Youth Group leaders and the many
groups of hard working volunteers in between, we are privileged that God
has placed these many men and women in their respective Church
leadership positions. All of
this has been done through the grace of Our Lord.
We pray the He will bless and guide our St. Luke Church Community
as we continue to grow and expand.
Yes, we are truly blessed!
Let us celebrate our blessings by continuing to worship weekly as
a family, giving thanks to our God in Heaven for his abundant blessings.
His loving service,
Rev. Father Christ Kontos