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 three small children: Lydia, Paul, and Silas. Presvytera Alexandra grew up attending Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Asheville, North Carolina with her nine siblings.
Do you have a favorite saint? Maybe you pray to one saint more than any other. Maybe it’s your own patron saint or any other one. You might ask this saint for help.
Today, we hear about two different stories. In the Gospel reading, we hear about a man who was paralyzed—he couldn’t walk. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, saw this man and took care of him. He healed him and let him walk again.
But before the Gospel reading, we hear a story about another man who couldn’t walk. This story happened after Jesus had died and had risen and had left the world for heaven! But still, one of Jesus’ followers, St. Peter, took care of this man. Peter told him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Rise and carry your bed.” You know, it wasn’t Peter who had the power; it was Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ heals you!
When we pray to saints, let’s always remember that it’s God who works through them. God gives them the power to work miracles. God gives the saint the power to help us, even after they have left this world. God has given us so many wonderful saints, who listen to our prayers. But remember, just like Saint Peter did, saints always give credit to God.
SAINT JOHN: THE APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST
Have you ever given somebody some good news? That you were having ice cream for dessert? That school was cancelled? It feels great to spread good news.
Saint John gave the whole world some good news. That good news is the news of Christ’s resurrection! That’s the good news we celebrate as Christians all the time, but especially in these days after Pascha (Easter). We call Saint John an “Evangelist” because he (along with Saints Matthew, Mark, and Luke) wrote the parts in the Bible that tell about our Lord’s life and death and resurrection (the Gospels). The word “evangelos” means a messenger of good news.
Saint John was Jesus’ good friend. He was with Jesus when He preached and healed people. He was with Jesus even when He was dying on the Cross. Saint John ran to the tomb after he heard that Jesus’ body was not there anymore. When he finally knew the good news, he had to spread this good news to everybody.
Lots of Christians love Saint John’s book of the Bible best of all. When you are old enough to read it all by yourself, maybe it will be your favorite one too. When you read it, you can see how much Saint John loved his teacher and friend, our Lord Jesus Christ. You can read the good news from Saint John, the Evangelist.
We celebrate the feast of Saint John tomorrow, May 8th.
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