“Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God, Who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise, having sent upon them the Holy Spirit, and through them Thou hast fished the universe, O Lover of mankind, glory to Thee.”
Dear to Christ the faithful members of St. George,
I would like to wish you a blessed Pentecost Feast. In the troparia above we read how by sending the Holy Spirit upon the disciples, Christ fished the whole universe. It means once the Holy Spirit was given to the disciples, the universe now can hear the Good News of the salvation in Christ. What does the Orthodox Church teach about the Holy Spirit? Fr. Tom Hopko in his volume on the Doctrine of the Church and the section on the Holy Spirit writes:
“And in the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father, who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets . . .
The Holy Spirit bears the title of Lord with God the Father and Christ the Son. He is the Spirit of God and Spirit of Christ. He is eternal, uncreated, and divine; always existing with the Father and the Son; perpetually worshipped and glorified with them in the oneness of the Holy Trinity…Orthodox doctrine confesses that God the Father is the eternal origin and source of the Spirit, just as He is the source of the Son…The Holy Spirit is essentially one in his eternal existence with the Father and the Son; and so, in every action of God toward the world, the Holy Spirit is necessarily acting. Thus, in the Genesis account of creation it is written: “The Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters” (Gen 1.2). It is this same Spirit who is the “breath of life” for all living things and particularly for man, made in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1.30; 2.7). Generally speaking, the Spirit in Hebrew is called the “breath” or the “wind” of Yahweh. It is He who makes everything alive, the “Giver of life” Who upholds and sustains the universe in its existence and life (e.g. Ps 104.29; Job 33.4)… The Christian Church lives by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit alone is the guarantee of God’s Kingdom on earth. He is the sole guarantee that God’s life and truth and love are with men. Only by the Holy Spirit can man and the world fulfill that for which they were created by God. (You can read more about the Holy Spirit here https://www.oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine-scripture/the-symbol-of-faith/holy-spirit
This prayer of the Church to the Holy Spirit must be memorized by every Orthodox Christian:
“O heavenly King, the Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art in all places, and fillest all things; Treasury of good things, and Giver of life; come, and dwell in us, and cleanse us from every stain; and save our souls, O good One.”
Today we also celebrate Father’s Day, happy Father’s Day to all the fathers. Fr. George Shalhoub writes: “A father can become a dad only in a school called, “the academy of marriage,” where he learns what to say and do. A good dad most often has a good father to learn from. In our society, we have a very confusing image of what makes a father. Social media, TV or Hollywood presents us with violent fathers, helpless men or men missing from action. It does not teach us about the qualities of a good dad which resides in his image and likeness to be like God and to show the respect received from a mother. A father should be a man of prayer, conviction and honor who guards the reputation and good name of his family. In life, we have three fathers, our biological father, our adopted father and the one Father Who remains forever – our Heavenly Father. The Holy Church teaches and encourages that parenthood is a Holy and Divine calling. In it, we mold our children’s lives by impressing good character, and we influence them by being a good role model. Fearing the Lord means that a man who leads his family to church will be a good example to them morally and will lead them in generosity, truth, and forgiveness. The family is the school that one day the children will graduate from to be good parents. There will be no graduation from the school of fatherhood until one has grandchildren. Only then will a father see all the fruits of his diligence, labor, and love.” https://antiochian.org/regulararticle/690
Wishing you all a blessed Sunday.
Your Father in Christ and Pastor,
In the crucified Christ,
~Pastor’s Message of June 20, 2021~