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.
When do you say “thank you” to God? Whenever He helps you with something? But that’s impossible! He is helping you all the time!
Today, in the Gospel reading, we hear the story of the ten men who had the awful skin disease of leprosy. When Jesus healed these ten men, only one came back to say “thank you”! Only one out of ten!
Do you say “thank you” to God even one out of every ten times He does something for you? Even that is hard, isn’t it?
Many of the saints of our Orthodox Church tell us how important it is to say “thank you” to our Lord! Not so long ago there lived a very holy nun named Mother Gavrilia (she died in 1992). Lots of people think she might be called a saint one day. She spent her whole life helping and healing very poor people, even people with that same awful skin disease, leprosy!
Mother Gavrilia once said that when we really know the gifts of God, “We keep going and saying, Thank you…Thank you…Thank you… We see a person…Thank you. We see a flower…Thank you. We see a glass of milk…Thank you. Thank you…for everything!” Do you think you can follow this saintly woman’s example? Do you think you can try to notice the gifts God gives you?
SAINT EUTHYMIOS: THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE!
Have you ever tried to show off about something? Maybe you wanted to show others that you were really good at something, or that you could do something they couldn’t do.
This week, we celebrate the nameday of a saint who taught others not to be show-offs. Saint Euthymios was a humble monk, but he grew to be in charge of lots of other monks. He started lots of monasteries in Palestine, so that men there could try to grow closer to our Lord. They could focus their whole lives on God. Saint Euthymios was a holy man, but he tried hard not to show off. God gave this saint lots of gifts, but Euthymios didn’t want other people to know how close he was to God! He just didn’t want to show off.
Sometimes we might think that monks and nuns are so holy that they don’t ever do anything wrong! That’s not true, of course. They have struggles too, just like we do…but just in different ways. Once, some young monks wanted to show off how much they could fast. They wanted to show how little they could eat. But Saint Euthymios (who was their leader), told them to come to the table with the other monks. He told them it was more important to have love for each other. He wanted them to learn to be humble… and not to show off. See how we can learn so much from the saints?
We celebrate the nameday of Saint Euthymios on Friday, January 20th.
Photo Credit: What Our Hymns Can Teach Us
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