The Feast of Holy Pentecost

Greetings on the glorious Feast of Pentecost, one of the major Feast days of our Holy Orthodox Church. On this day we celebrate the day when the Glorified Christ poured out the Holy Spirit upon His followers. We remember when John the Baptist prophesied, “I baptize you with water, but someone is coming who is so much greater than I am… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 3:16).

Pentecost literally means, “the fiftieth day”, because it falls 50 days after the Feast of Pascha.  On this great festival of the Church, Almighty God gave humanity the gift of Spirit, the pledge of a new Promised Land, God’s kingdom.  When He finished His mission on earth, Christ charged His followers to remain in Jerusalem and, “wait for the gift I told you about and the gift my Father promised…for in a few days you will be baptized with His Holy Spirit…you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”. (Acts 1:4-5, 8)

In the Orthodox Church the Feast of Pentecost or Green Sunday is one of the seven great feasts of the Lord which we commemorate throughout the liturgical year.  It is a celebration of the Lord’s bestowal of the Holy Spirit upon His Church. It is the Feast of the Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit: One God in Three Persons.

This is also the day of kneeling, when we hear the prayers glorifying God by recounting His great acts of salvation in history.  We solemnly kneel before God recognizing our sinfulness and we earnestly implore Him for forgiveness. We entreat God for protection and renewal with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us.  For as we sing the Great Prokimenon of this day, ” Who is so great a God as our God. You alone are the God who does wonders”.

So let us come to Church on Pentecost, adorned with green, to give thanks for the coming of the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth who art everywhere present and fillest all things.  Let us renew our faith, for the Comforter, the treasury of blessings and the giver of life, comes to abide in us, and cleanse us from all impurity and iniquity.

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day

It is indeed a special time when Father’s Day falls on the great Feast of Pentecost, the celebration of the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.

The Apostle Paul writes, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.  For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, Abba! Father!, it is that very spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ–if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be Glorified with him” (Romans 8:14-17)

What better news can we have on this day, that we are children of God. This is the Feast of Pentecost where we read numerous references to the Holy Trinity and the theological understanding of this doctrinal truth of the Church. This can be somewhat difficult to grasp at first but most of us, if not all of us can understand, quite readily what it means to call God, Abba! Father! We know that it means we are children of God.   Today as we honor our fathers on this special day, we can gain a better understanding of what God means for Christian fathers to be.

There are three things that fathers ought to be.  The first being that Christian fathers ought to love as God loves. The term Abba in the Gospels is an endearing term, the feeling Jesus gave us about God is not that God is somewhere far removed from us, for God is a God who sees every sparrow fall from the sky, who counts every hair of our head.  Our God does not seal Himself away from us but is available, caring, loving and forgiving.

The second point is that a Christian father ought to reflect God’s character. Whether you like it or not fathers are role models to their children.  Many fathers have had no models for showing affection to their children, affirming their children, encouraging their children.  Society doesn’t provide them with models. However, the Church, our faith, the Gospels are there to emulate in our own lives as fathers.  We Christians do have role models in scripture and in the lives of the saints, men and women, which teaches us character, reflecting God’s love and God’s character.

The last point is that a Christian father reflects God’s gentleness and at the same time God’s strength.  We are not talking about physical strength, but rather emotional strength and spiritual strength. Genuine fathers have emotional strength and spiritual strength, for they are gentle, yet strong in the same way Christ was gentle, yet strong.  That is the God we worship, and that is the God we should reflect as parents, loving as God loves- people of character reflecting God’s character- and people of gentleness and strength.

Let me conclude with these words, “In a world that values wealth and fame, the Christian father is called to remember that no matter what other accomplishments he has in his career or life, the greatest influence he will have on the world will be as a father in how he shapes the souls of his children.” Amen!  Let it be so!

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1st Friday after Pentecost

June 25, 2021 | Fast Free

Daily Readings

Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Romans 2:14-28
Gospel: Matthew 5:33-41

Feasts & Saints

1st Friday after Pentecost

Leavetaking of the Nativity of the Forerunner John the Baptist

The Righteous Martyr Febronia

Methodius of Nevritos

Prokopios the New Martyr

Dionysius & Dometios the Righteous of Mount Athos

Orentios, Pharmakios, Eros, Phirmos, Phirminos, Kyriakos, and Longinos the Martyrs and Brothers

Glen Mills, PA

Saint Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church

Saint Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church, a parish of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), is located in Glen Mills, PA serving the Orthodox faithful throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

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