“Brethren, obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account.” Hebrews 13:17
Dear to Christ the members of St. George,
Christ is in our midst. He is and ever shall be.
The verse taken above is from the Epistle reading for this Sunday December 6th for the Feast of St Nicholas. The Orthodox Study Bible on page 1671 in the footnote 3 says : “Priests and spiritual leaders must be respected and obeyed (vv.17,7, 8), a reference to “spiritual fatherhood” in the Church. They will give account of their ministry at the judgment. The author sees himself among the leaders and asks for prayer that he may live an exemplary life (see v.7).” Here is what Fr. Tom writes about “obedience” in Volume IV on Spirituality, on the Virtues, on Obedience: “In the Orthodox spiritual tradition, obedience is a basic virtue: obedience to the Lord, to the Gospel, to the Church (Mt 18.17), to the leaders of the Church (Heb 13.7), to one’s parents and elders, to “every ordinance of man” (1 Pet 2.13, Rom 13.1), “to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Eph 6.21). There is no spiritual life without obedience, no freedom or liberation from sinful passions and lusts. To submit to God’s discipline in all of its human forms, is the only way to obtain “the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom 8.21). God disciplines us as His children out of His great love for us. “He disciplines us for our good, that we might share His holiness” (cf. Heb 12.3–11). Our obedience to God’s commandments and discipline is the exclusive sign of our love for Him and His Son.”
By the Grace of God and your holy prayers I am back in Toronto safely. I will be in church next Sunday to celebrate with you the Holy Eucharist.
Happy Feast Day to all those named after St. Nicholas. Please, teach your children the “True” story of St. Nicholas the great Saint of our Church.
We will have two Nativity Paraklesis on two Mondays at 7 PM: December 14 and 21.
By next Sunday I will decide on the Nativity/Christmas services. Most probably it will be the 24th evening. We can’t celebrate Christmas without attending the Liturgy. We will have Liturgy for St. Basil and the New Year on December 31st evening.
If you want to have your home blessed (every Orthodox Christian should have their home blessed every year) start planning on it.
I can’t wait until I am with your physically next Sunday to worship the Holy Trinity together with all of you.
The letter continues this Sunday by saying: “Now may the God of peace Who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in you that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to Whom be glory forever and ever. Amen”
Rev. Fr. Dr. George Dahdouh, Priest
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
9116 Bayview Ave.,
Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3M9
Office: 905/731-7210, Cell in case of Emergency: 416/937-6301