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Archpastoral Message of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah at the Beginning of the Ecclesiastical Year

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.oca.org/news/1917 Archpastoral Message of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah at the Beginning of the Ecclesiastical Year Posted 09/01 September 1,
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2009
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      http://www.oca.org/news/1917

      Archpastoral Message of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah at the
      Beginning of the Ecclesiastical Year

      Posted 09/01

      September 1, 2009

      To the Venerable Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, Monastics and Faithful
      of the Orthodox Church in America

      The Lord said:

      The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To
      preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the
      brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of
      sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To
      proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." Luke 4:18f.

      Dearly Beloved in Christ:

      The Blessing of the Lord be upon you!

      As we celebrate the Church's New Year, we meditate on the Gospel for
      this day, where the Lord went to Nazareth and was handed the
      Scriptures, and read the above. He then said, "Today this Scripture
      is fulfilled in your hearing."

      The question we have to ask ourselves is, How is this fulfilled in my
      life? How have I entered into the Lord's ministry, preaching the good
      news to the poor, healing the brokenhearted, giving liberty to
      captives, and so forth? Am I even paying attention to this?

      Our Church has many challenges before it, financial, legal,
      organizational. But we must remember that, as important as these
      things are, as critical as they may be the life of our Church at this
      time, they can quickly become distractions from the one thing
      needful: to keep focused on Jesus Christ and the ministries which He
      has given us as a means of participation in His own ministry. While
      we might have budget challenges, there is nothing that can prevent us
      from preaching the Gospel, consoling those alone and abandoned, and
      setting at liberty those held captive by their sins.

      We have been "recreated in Christ for good works." Let us do that
      work, not because we expect a paycheck or recognition for doing it,
      but because it is the very nature of who we are as Christians: to
      manifest the Kingdom by showing love for our neighbor. Let us recover
      our spiritual sight, in Christ by the Spirit, so that we may know
      that the Spirit of the Lord is upon us, and has anointed us to do the
      Lord's will.

      Each one of us has been anointed by the Lord do the works of God --
      in chrismation. We don't have to wait for a program or a department
      to do them. In whatever walk of life, no matter who we are, we are
      called to enter into the Lord's labors. So let us put aside all
      distraction, keeping all things in their proper perspective, with our
      attention and focus firmly on Jesus Christ. We then might just find
      that our distractions and crises are not so big as we thought they
      were and that we have been given everything that we need to resolve
      them, if we indeed can maintain our awareness of Christ, striving for
      the fulfillment of His will.

      With love in Christ,


      SIGNATURE
      +JONAH
      Archbishop of Washington
      Metropolitan of All America and Canada
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