and grow like a cedar of Lebanon
الصديق كالنخل يزهر، ومثل أرز لبنان ينمي
Brothers and Sisters,
It has been a very busy week! Last Tuesday night I was very honoured to be able to represent the Maronite Church and attend a special Ecumenical Gathering at St Elias’s Melkite Church in Guildford under the theme of “1 in Christ”. This gathering brought together people from seven different Churches. The representatives from each of the Churches were given an opportunity to talk about their different traditions. Pondering on this wonderful experience made me reflect more and more on our Sacred Tradition. Sacred Tradition is God’s revealed word handed down by the living teaching authority established by Christ in the Church. This includes both written tradition (Holy Scripture) and unwritten tradition received from Christ and handed down orally by the apostles and their successors. This tradition is like a lantern that shines in the dark opening up our eyes, hearts and minds to the truth in the same way that the eyes of Bartimaeus were opened. Over the years each Church has developed its own liturgical and spiritual traditions and added its own charisms to enrich it. When you put all these lanterns of tradition together, the light of our Lord Jesus shines even brighter in our lives. Their unity radiates the splendor of his love for us so that we too can radiate the same light and love and truly become “1 in Christ”.
The light of our Lord continues to be radiate in our parish touching all our parishioners and especially our children. This week 107 children who are preparing for their Holy Communion received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This is a very big step for them as they develop their relationship with Christ and also with their neighbour. It is very important for parents to continually be an example for their children and lead them to Reconciliation. As we approach Easter it would be a wonderful idea to come together as a family to receive this sacrament. As a priest my heart is filled with joy when I see families waiting together to receive this sacrament.
The light of our Lord shone brightly on us on Friday in a somewhat different way than what I would normally be used to. It shone through the gathering of our parish family for a game of golf. This has helped us to raise much needed funds for our Community, Youth and Pastoral Centre. On behalf of the parish I would like to thank the organizers, sponsors and participants of the Golf Day. Your support is a blessing to our parish and is a true example of how we can be “1 in Christ.”
On a final note, time is passing by very quickly and we are now one week away from the Season of our Lord’s Passion. At this stage, we should be asking ourselves if have allowed the light of Jesus to enter into our lives this Lent like Bartimaeus? If not, there is still time.