Presvytera Alexandra Houck created The Children's Word bulletin so children will know they are not only welcome in church, but even more, an essential part of the Church family. She hopes the weekly bulletin will be just one more way we can make kids feel at home in church. Presvytera Alexandra is a graduate of Duke University and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Her husband, Fr. Jason Houck, is a priest at St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis, MN. Presvytera Alexandra and Fr. Jason have five small children: Lydia, Paul, Silas, Philip, and Sarah. Presvytera Alexandra grew up attending Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Asheville, North Carolina with her nine siblings.
Have you ever been to a big party with lots and lots of people? Have you been in a crowd where you couldn’t even see what was going on?
You probably remember the Gospel reading for today. Four friends wanted Jesus to heal their paralyzed friend (he couldn’t walk). When they got to the place where Jesus was, so many people were there, that they couldn’t even get in the door! They made a hole in the roof so they could lower their friend down to see Jesus!
Why were so many people there? Because they could see the power of the Lord! They knew that Jesus had been healing people, and they wanted Him to help them too. They listened to Him preach, and they wanted to be with Him. They could see that Jesus Christ had the power of God.
In a few weeks, you know, we will be in the middle of Holy Week. We will see Jesus in a different way. He will be made fun of. He will be beaten. He will look weak. On the Cross, He will be all alone, except for His mother and a friend.
In a few weeks, let’s remember how strong Jesus, our Lord, really is. Let’s remember how He made Himself humble so that He could save us with that same power of God!
SAINT GREGORY PALAMAS: BE STILL!
Have you ever tried really hard to be still? To be quiet? It’s not so hard when you are watching a movie or reading a book. But when we are trying to pray, that’s a different story! Maybe we start to squirm or to move around. Suddenly, we start to think about all the things we could do instead. It’s hard to pray quietly, isn’t it?
Today is the second Sunday of Great Lent, and today, we remember Saint Gregory Palamas. Saint Gregory was a monk and later a bishop of Thessaloniki, Greece. He was a very prayerful man, and he wrote about prayer too. We still have his writings today, 700 years after he died.
Saint Gregory tells us how important it is to be still, to be quiet, to silently pray to God. During St. Gregory’s time, another man argued that people were wasting their time with this kind of prayer. Instead, people should be trying to learn more about God. They should be trying to get smarter. This quiet kind of prayer was a big waste of time.
But Saint Gregory knew that when we spend time talking to God in prayer, we grow closer to Him. Do you think you can find time during Lent to try and do that? Can you find a time every day to be still and quiet, praying to God?
We celebrate St. Gregory today, the 2nd Sunday of Great Lent.
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