September 2023

Dear Beloved in the Lord,

On the first of September we celebrate the Church New Year. Beginning a new cycle of life in the Church is a reminder for us of the gift of time. Time allows for us to have the opportunity to be renewed, time to be forgiven, time to be healed, time to be made new, time to be formed in the image and likeness of God. When we ask God to give someone many years, it is with this intention. We ask God to give someone the opportunity, the time, to turn to Christ, Who is the great Physician of our souls. The Gospel reading for this Feast is the following from the Gospel of St. Luke:

So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." 

This is the gift of the Church and the Good News of the Gospel. We, as Orthodox Christians, have the opportunity to enter into this reality on a daily basis. Each day, as each year, is new and an opportunity to begin again. No matter how often we may fail or turn away. We place our hope in the Lord and in His mercy. As the prophet says, His mercies are new every morning, Great is Thy faithfulness! May we turn to Christ each morning and ask Him to bless our day, the work that we will do, and the relationships that unfold before us.

When we as a community and as unique persons walk in this way of life, then we become a light to the world around us. A world that is in need of the healing, the light, and the life that Christ desires for each of us. May God bless our community and may He do a good work in us and through us that His light may shine.

Aloha in Christ,
Fr. Benjamin