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.
Praying some more
Have you ever asked your parents for something…and then asked them again and again until they finally gave it to you? Sometimes they might give in, only after you’ve asked them more than once.
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear about a blind man who wanted to be healed. When Jesus walked by, this blind man cried out to the Lord, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then again, the man shouted, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Later, when Jesus stopped and asked him what he wanted, he answered, God always listens to our prayers! “Lord, let me receive my sight.” This poor man asked the Lord three times for His help.
When we pray to God, sometimes we ask Him for something more than once. Sometimes you might pray for something for years! Why doesn’t God listen to us the first time? Well, He does listen to us…always. But He also wants us to be persistent. That means that He wants us to keep asking for something. When we keep praying to God, we have God in our minds and in our hearts, right? We cling to Him. We look to Him for help. We think about Him. We can look to this blind man in the Gospel as an example. We can keep turning to God for help!
SAINT GREGORY THE THEOLOGIAN: A holy friendship
Making friends. How do you do it? Well, usually, friends have to have something in common with each other. Maybe you both like playing soccer, or dancing, or video games, or even pizza. Or maybe you live next door and you play together every day after school. Friends share something in common.
Tomorrow, we celebrate the memory of a saint who had a very deep and holy friendship with St. Basil. We have heard about St. Basil and his brother, St. Gregory of Nyssa. But tomorrow we remember Saint Basil’s great friend, Saint Gregory (who is called “the Theologian”). Both St. Basil and this St. Gregory were bishops. They were about the same age. They met each other in Athens, Greece, and they became friends.
But what did these friends have in common? We can learn about their friendship from St. Gregory’s own words. (He wrote them almost 1700 years ago!) St. Gregory said, “Our great pursuit, the great name we wanted, was to be Christians, to be called Christians.” And that is what these two great saints had in common (not soccer or pizza!) They helped each other become greater Christians, to know more about God and to love Him even more.
St. Basil and St. Gregory show us a great thing about friendship! When we make friends, we can try to have deep and holy friendships too, close to God!
We celebrate St. Gregory’s nameday tomorrow, Monday, Jan. 25th.
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