St. Peter Newsletter — Friday, April 17, 2015 – Christ is Risen – Thomas Sunday – Many, Many Thanks

Christ is Risen!

The Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

The Second Sunday of Pascha – St. Thomas

The Sunday of St. Thomas

The Orthodox Church observes the Sunday of Thomas one week following the celebration of the Sunday of Holy Pascha. The day commemorates the appearance of Christ to His disciples on the evening of the Sunday following Passover. It also commemorates the appearance of the Lord to His disciples eight days later when Thomas was present and proclaimed “My Lord and my God” upon seeing the hands and side of Christ.

The events commemorated on the Sunday of Thomas are recorded in the Gospel of Saint John 20:19-29. Following the crucifixion and burial of Christ, the disciples were gathered in a room with the doors closed and locked for fear of the Jews. On the evening of the Sunday after Passover, Jesus Christ entered the room and stood in their midst, greeting them with the words, “Peace be with you.” (v. 19) He showed the disciples his hands, feet, and side. (v. 20)

Thomas was not present with the disciples when Jesus appeared, and he did not accept the testimony of the other disciples concerning Christ’s Resurrection. He stated, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” (vv. 24-25)

Eight days later, the disciples were gathered together again with Thomas present, and the Lord appeared in the same manner. Standing in their midst he said, “Peace be with you.” He then spoke directly to Thomas and said, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” (vv. 26-27) Thomas answered, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus replied by saying, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” (v. 29)

Read more on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.

Many, Many Thanks to Everyone for a Beautiful Lent and Pascha

The work we do in the parish has two goals:

  • Glorify God
  • Establish the local Church because through it we find Christ who saves us

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Lent and Easter take a lot of work to do properly. But it must be done properly because the season is critical to the life and health of the Church. Done properly the Church is strengthened and our communion with Christ can deepen and God is glorified.

This season is also the time when personal gifts and talents come into bloom. And what a garden of gifts and talents we have! From the choir to food preparers to clean up crews to readers to decoraters of the tomb to those who donated icons, flowers, food — the list really is endless.

And the important part is every gift and talent matters! God plays no favorites James tells us. When we our gifts freely and not begrudgingly and without conditions, then the gift we give becomes a blessing to others. When we bless others, God blesses us.

May God bless us all as we learn to give. And may He bless St. Peter’s as we move forward discerning His will for us and preparing ourselves to receive those He brings to us seeking to find Him.

Remember in Your Prayers

Bob Jarvis who is recovering from a fall.

Pat and Milan Evanoff.

John, the brother of Pauline Poulos who is suffering from cancer.

Tom and Jean, parents of Patty and Jerry.

How should we pray for the sick? Remember them daily. Say their names and ask God to bestow mercy and grace on them.

The Sunday Scripture Readings

The Gospel Reading

Ancient Cover for the Bible

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (20:19-31)

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the Disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the Disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”

And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other Disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in His side, I will not believe.”

Eight days later, His Disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.”

Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the Disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His Name.

The Epistle Reading

Great is the Lord, and great is His power. Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good.

The Reading from the Acts of the Saintly and Pure Apostles. (5:12-20)

In those days, many signs and wonders were done among the people by the hands of the Apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high honor.

And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them.

The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed. But the high priest rose up and all who were with him, that is, the party of the Sadducees, and filled with jealousy they arrested the Apostles and put them in the common prison.

But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out and said, “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.”