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 visited the grave of a friend or a relative? Maybe you brought some flowers to put there, or maybe you visited to say a prayer.
Today we remember a group of women who woke up early one morning to visit the grave of somebody they loved very much, our Lord, Jesus Christ. They brought bottles of myrrh so that they could give the tomb a sweet smell. On the way, they were sad and worried. They knew a big stone lay across the tomb, and they wouldn’t be able to get inside. But when they got to the tomb, they were amazed! The huge stone was rolled away, and an angel was inside!
“You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen!” said the angel. Later, we see how their sadness turned into joy! Sometimes, we might think about what God has planned for us, how He opened heaven for us so that we can be with Him forever. In heaven, there is no pain or suffering. When we think about that, our sadness will turn to joy too!
The angel told the women to tell everybody the good news. We can also tell people the good news when we say, “Christ is risen!”
HOW MANY APOSTLES? SAINTS ANDRONIKOS AND JUNIA
Do you know how many apostles there were? Well, that’s a trick question! Remember, Jesus had 12 disciples at first, the apostles. But the word “apostle” means “sent out.” These faithful people were “sent out” to tell the world about Jesus Christ, and about all He did for us.
Besides those 12, the Bible also talks about 70 more apostles, who were sent out to tell the good news. On Tuesday, we will celebrate the nameday of two of those 70 apostles—Saints Andronikos and Junia. We don’t know too much about these saints. We don’t know if they were husband and wife or brother and sister.
But in the Bible, in the book of Romans we read what Saint Paul wrote about them: “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.” So we know that these two were sent out to tell about Christ, but they suffered for doing that. They even went to prison with Saint Paul! Our Lord asks us to go out to all the world and tell others about God. He really sends us out! So we can try to be faithful and brave apostles too…like these two saints!
We celebrate Sts. Andronikos and Junia on Tuesday, May 17th.
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