Monthly Message from Father John
Message from Father John
Dedicated to God
Our parents dedicated us to God when we were 40 days old. They had given us a first name when we were born. By doing this they declared our own individuality and uniqueness. The secular world refers to it as our unique fingerprints and DNA.
After forty days, our parents proceeded and dedicated us to God, as the Old Testament instructed them. We call this ceremony the 40-day blessing.
Our 40-day blessings recalls Jesus’ dedication—when His Mother, the Theotokos, and Joseph brought him to the Temple of God and offered the prescribed sacrifice. The elder Simeon was there, who rejoiced to see the “salvation of God” and the fulfillment of God‘s promise to him that he will not die until he sees His salvation. His prayer to God, “Lord, let your servant depart in peace, according to your word for my eyes have seen your salvation…” is repeated in every vesper service, to remind us of God‘s faithfulness to His promises.
When our parents presented us to God in his Temple, they dedicated us to His service. They raised us up to respect and serve God, as the Great Commandment prescribed; they inspired us with their Christian advice and Godly Example, as they themselves were keeping the Commandments of God. They instructed us to glorify God by using our given talents to bear witness for Him: to love Him and serve Him and our fellow man.
In our baptism and Chrismation we received the first installment of the Grace of the Holy Spirit. We are now called to use it to actualize our gifts. We achieve this by practicing and living the Commandments of God.
By participating in the Holy Sacraments of the Church, we renew our installment of the Grace of the Holy Spirit and acquire the ability to grow spiritually. We experience an inner peace and joy that enable us to continue our spiritual life and renew our hope in God Who has prepared for us an even better reward in His Heavenly Kingdom.
Let us renew our commitment to God and actualize His Grace in our daily life, as we celebrate the Feast of His “Entrance into the Temple.”
With love, Fr. John P. Angelis
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