This pastoral message is an excerpt from our April 2021 Echo.
“For now, we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love”. -1st Corinthians 13:12,13
Dear Sts. Constantine & Helen Family,
One year ago, we were bracing for a mysterious virus that was quickly spreading throughout the world with impunity. A pandemic. A plague. Few living on the face of the earth had
any memory of such a horror. Fear, worry, and panic were feelings that we all experienced then. Now a year later we look back and see that our worst fears were not realized. We are coming out of the coronavirus valley of the shadow of death as a parish and finding ourselves once again in Great Lent, the arena of virtues. We have realized that this pandemic didn’t ‘kill’ us (though many, even in our own community, died due to complications of the virus; may their memory be eternal), and we have become—in some way—more aware of the blessings we have simply to be alive and more aware of what it means to be truly human. We are also more aware of the possibilities that exist for us to experience joy, paradoxically because we have experienced grief more deeply.
Elder Ephraim of Arizona (+12/7/19) once wrote, “Grief will succeed joy, and joy, grief, just as night follows day. This is how the Father of lights has established the path of those who are being saved. Just have patience and hope: engrave these in the depths of your heart—with these, all adversities will be faced.”
With patience and hope we will as a community go forward and continue to make Christ and His Mystical Body, the Church, present and welcoming for all those who in these troubled times would seek refuge under Her wings. As we collectively stay connected to and live the Faith of our Fathers we plant the seeds of faith for the next generation to continue this most sacred calling. This month we have the blessed opportunity to rejoice in fulfillment of the calling to ordination, both to the Holy Diaconate and then the Holy Priesthood, of one of those ‘youth’—our beloved pastoral assistant Constantine Alexandrides. (See page 6 for details).
The word that we use to express our agreement and indeed consent that he should be ordained is AXIOS. When we proclaim AXIOS it means that we concur with the decision for him to be ordained; that we see the hand of God upon him and witness to the Presence of the Holy Spirit, alive and working in his heart. It mean he is worthy to be chosen by God for this sacred work. Our AXIOS seals and completely the prayers and AXIOS of the ordaining Hierarch, which will be our Metropolitan Savas. On the day of his ordination the entire Church the living and those passed on into eternal life, with all the Saints and Angels, celebrate in the laying on of hands upon a person who will give himself now entirely to Christ.
Dino, you have waited patiently and hoped longingly for this day to come. Let the Spirit come! You will now offer yourself to Him who gave His Life for you and us all upon the Throne of His Cross of Love Incarnate. Take up your cross and follow!
AXIOS! AXIOS! AXIOS!
Rev. Fr. Theodore Petrides