Pastoral Message from Father Branko (3/29)
March 29, 2020
When we began the Great and Holy Lent, we did not expect that a pandemic would deprive us of the Holy Sacraments and the divine services. We have no choice but to rise to this unique challenge as citizens of this great country and as Christians. We all miss the Church and our gatherings together for worship and social activities, but we have to follow the guidance and recommendations of our Diocese and the state and city authorities, prohibiting more than 10 faithful in the Church at one-given time.
“We must see the goodness of God in all the things that are happening now. Thus, there is no room for morbid dismay. Neither should we resist the measures that the government is taking in order to diminish the spreading of the afflictions we see in the lives of so many people.
Nothing can harm us, we must simply be patient for a certain period of time and God will see our patience, take away every obstacle, every temptation and we shall again see the dawn of joyful days, and we shall celebrate our common hope and love that we have in Christ Jesus,” wrote Archmandrit Father Zacharias recently.
Also, let us be mindful and pray for those who are under the threat of this virus - those who are suffering and those who are recovering. Let us pray for the health and safety of the brave nurses, doctors and researchers on the front lines.
Let this also be a time to rediscover and reexamine our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the time to make our home a place of prayer, as Saint Paul tells us that the home is a “small church.” In a time like this, he gives us the following advice: “Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave and be strong. Let everything you do be done in love. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you! My love be with you all in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 16: 13, 23-24). Faith, Hope and Love are the three greatest Christian virtues and they are the essence of our Christian living. Let us keep them and practice them.
To keep connected, I am sending the Gospel reading of the Fourth Sunday of Lent – -Sunday of St. John of the Ladder (Climacus), Sermon on the Gospel of St. Mark, Chapter 9, 17-31, and a “Prayer for Protection Against a Pandemic.”
May God bless us all and keep us safe and healthy.
Your fervent intercessor before Christ the Lord,